Yesterday and The Difference between Dwelling and Honoring.

AUTHOR: | POSTED: October 16, 2012 | COMMENTS: 11 Comments
CATEGORIES: Infertility, IVF,

Carolyn Savage

Warning…I swear in this post!   Big nasty swear words and not just in words but also in symbolic gestures.  If this offends, you, allow me to apologize in advance.  I just had to, though.  Couldn’t help it!  Sorry Mom and Dad. 

 

Yesterday was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. 

Thud.

I didn’t even know there was such a day until I saw tributes written by friends on Facebook.  How did I not know this day existed?  Honestly, it’s probably the same reason that I didn’t know today was National Dictionary Day

Of course, on 101.5 The River, Rick and Mary Beth are always reminding listeners that any given day is a “national day of something”.  Usually it’s funny or obscure.  Of course, there’s nothing funny about National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  It’s a gut-check day for anyone who has experienced either of those tragedies.  Seeing as how for every living little miracle I have under my wing, I have one who didn’t make it, shouldn’t I feel compelled to remember the day? 

Tough question because, honestly, I haven’t even come close to figuring out how to honor those five little souls that we lost.  I didn’t plant any remembrance trees.  I don’t have any traditions that we carry out on the anniversaries of the losses.  In fact, I think I’ve done everything humanly possible to erase the memories of babies with no heartbeats on ultrasounds.  And the two phone calls about failing bloodwork that indicated an early failed pregnancy…I’ve tried to dim the memories as well.  I don’t want to live in those moments.  Dwelling isn’t my style.

But dwelling, and honoring are two different things.  Sometimes I forget that. 

My dad has always said that if someone–or something–knocks me down they’d better prepare for the inevitable  tire treads I’d leave on their face.

True statement, but a double edged sword. 

Because, yes, after a fall I’m going to pick myself up, dust myself off, and roll full steam ahead to a place I’d rather stand….but….and this is a big but…sometimes I’m so focused on the goal of erasing, doing better, and beating the hell out of whatever set-back I’ve experienced, I forget the lesson in remembering.

Infertility…Beat it.

Miscarriage…Try Again.

Get pregnant with the wrong baby…Try like hell to have my own baby.

I’m a fixer.  My experiences with infertility, pregnancy loss, and giving “L” up after birth have all motivated me to beat the odds–come hell or high water.  Stand in my way?  Eff off.  I’ll eat you for lunch (eventually).

Because of that attitude, I struggle with painful remembrances. 

But then I read posts by Kait….

and Kathy…

and Kele…

and Pomegranate

And I get it.  National Pregancy and Infant Loss Day isn’t just about dwelling.  It’s about shedding light on an experience that many women go through, but others hesitate to talk about.  After all, what’s harder than acknowledging the death of someone’s beloved child?   And the silence that ensues is deafening…and lonely. 

It’s a day about standing on top of a proverbial chair and shouting, “I will remember.  I will never forget.  And you should remember too, God dammit!” 

I love that.

It’s defiant.  Like a flip of the finger at the silence that accompanies the loss of a child…born or unborn. 

Maybe National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day is my style. 

Eff off silence.  I am going to talk about my child.  I’m going to honor my child.  I’m going to think of them when I see a butterfly, or hear the wind chimes in my back yard.  I’m going to imagine that each of those little souls is a guardian angel to Drew, Ryan, Mary Kate, Reagan and Isabella.  And when I swear to high heavens that one of my angels brushed my cheek in the middle of the night, I’m going to know that it’s true. 

They are real.  They happened.

And for them, I’m going to suck the marrow out of each and every minute of my day with my family.

I’ll remember and honor and celebrate the lasting lessons of those losses.

What a blessing.

 

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If you are struggling with a recent pregnancy or infant loss, reach out. I’ll listen…I promise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Comments on “ Yesterday and The Difference between Dwelling and Honoring. ”

  • Mary V | October 16th, 2012 1:14 pm

    Beautiful post Carolyn – swear words and all. We remembered the babies we lost yesterday, as we remember every day. We talk about our grandbabies and what a short time we had with them because they impacted our lives and left their tiny footprints on our hearts. To everyone who has ever experienced this, please do talk. There are people who want to hear.

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  • Lori Lavender Luz | October 16th, 2012 2:09 pm

    I hadn’t quite realized the difference until you said it: honoring is not dwelling.

    Remembering with you this week…XOXO

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  • Aimee K | October 16th, 2012 8:49 pm

    I whole heartedly agree with you about flipping the proverbial bird to the silence that so many women live in once they have had a miscarriage or stillbirth. Having lost three babies, I refuse to be silence about my experiences or my children. I think of my girls everyday and I remember them every night as I lay my head down to sleep.

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  • Aimee K | October 16th, 2012 8:57 pm

    I whole heartedly agree with flipping off the proverbial bird to the silence that too many women live in after suffering a miscarriage or stillbirth. After losing three beautiful babies, I refuse to be silent about my experiences or my children.

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  • Kele Pallitta (Facebook Comment) | October 23rd, 2012 4:39 pm

    Kele Pallitta <3 great post

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  • Angela Bonner (Facebook Comment) | October 23rd, 2012 4:40 pm

    You have a lot of courage and I admire you so much!

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  • Susan D. | January 11th, 2013 2:23 am

    I am still trying to absorb your story. I had one miscarriage many years ago but I remember it as clearly as I remember my other childrens’ births. I was with my sister and her daughter last year in February, when my niece had a baby boy who only lived for 12 days. It was the most heartbeaking experience of my life; I can’t even imagine what my niece went through (she is young, 21 years old, Ethen was her first baby and the doctors told her that if she had another baby with her husband, there was a 1 in 4 chance that it would happen again. Since that time, my sister has asked me several times, “Shouldn’t she be over this by now?” because my niece will call her crying or will post something on Facebook about what her baby would be doing now if he had survived. I tell her that I don’t think she will ever be “over it”. Many times during this time, I felt guilty because I had a healthy grandson and another one on the way. I never knew quite what to say to my niece and the birthdate of her baby is coming up on February 16th and I want to do something for her but don’t know what is appropriate.

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  • Carolyn Savage | January 11th, 2013 9:21 am

    I am so sorry for your loss and your niece’s loss. As for remembering her daughter on the 16th, I think you should absolutely do something. Obviously, she is still struggling and I think a remembrance of some sort would mean a lot to her. Perhaps a charm, piece of jewelry (nothing expensive…but special) would mean a lot to her. Something she could wear to help her remember. She could touch it when she needs to. Does that make sense?

    I’m going to guess that she will never be “over it” but she will work through this…somehow.

    I do have some suggestions for her. THere is a wonderful website called “Still Standing”. It’s actually an online magazine about infant, pregnancy and the loss of a child. It has forums and there may be a way for your niece to connect on their site.

    I hope that helps.

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  • Susan D. | January 12th, 2013 6:23 am

    Thank you so much for your response. I am also going to refer her to your website.

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  • Celeste | March 24th, 2013 11:20 am

    Wonderful post. We los our son at 22 weeks and are still grieving. Being present in national rememberance days like October 15th helps us be honest with ourselves and our friends about how devastating our loss was, and still is. It’s been three years but we are still grieving, each in our own ways

    Not to be spammy, but I recently wrote a post about my husband’s grief and I your post made me want to share it with you. It’s Called “Carrying Grief (And Carrying One Another) and in it, I swear too. Well, I swear a bit in general so there we go. Anyway, here it is:
    http://www.runningnekkid.com/node/241

    Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you and your family are doing well today.

    Celeste

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  • Carolyn Savage | March 24th, 2013 12:12 pm

    Celeste, I’m so sorry for your loss. Sounds like you’ve been through a lot.

    And you’re not being spammy. Anyone who reads this, would probably love to read to your post as well. Share away!

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