today is October 15th: National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. please go to my previous post about it here for more information on what it is, how it came about, and what you can do to recognize it. many hearts need healing, and this day can help them find some comfort.
around here, we're calling it Tummymuffin Remembrance Day. when L was born, the husbanator and i had extensive conversations about how we want to remember his siblings and what we were going to tell him about them. (right now it is sort of a lovely nebulous story that will most likely take the form of a bedtime-serial-make-it-up-as-you-go about three small guardians he has that check in with him from time to time; one hangs out in Rome and loves gelato, one likes to swing from the trees outside of an old Roman garrison town in Germany, and one inhabits the pipes of big organs. or something like that.) in any case, we do know that we're not keeping them a secret, and we want it to feel normal to mention them, without awkwardness. trying to recognise all three "would-be" days seperately is honestly unrealistic, so it just makes sense to join the thousands of other parents today in remembering the dreams and futures we have lost in our never-met babies. we might make it a beach day and release some flowers on the waves and then tell L about them while he splashes around. we will certainly be lighting some candles for a few friends who are mourning the losses of their would-be children, standing with them in their sadness and helping to carry a small piece of it so it doesn't become unbearably heavy.
i've been asked more than once -- and i used to wonder about this too -- if having a living child has helped me "get over" the three before, or if our pure joy in him cancels out the grief. the simple answer is NO. i don't think you can ever get over the loss of anyone that you love; you don't even get through it. you will always miss him or her; (s)he will always be a part of your life. you simply learn to live with and move with the loss; the ache of the gaping void will indeed lessen, but the hole itself will remain. and that is okay. as i have written before here, the emotional duality of joy and grief living side-by-side doesn't need to be a struggle; accepting that they are not mutually exclusive can open up the cramped spaces of one's emotional landscape and breathe fresh vitality and peace into the heart.
so. for all of you who have lost a child in any way (oh, and there are heartbreakingly so many ways, but the words for them are too ugly to say in a wish for healing), may you find solace in the simple act of saying: "I Recognise You -- this tiny person that i cannot hold, this wee life that i can no longer invest in. I Love You." and may you find peace in knowing your words are echoed and chorused by many others. you are not alone.