She would have been fifteen rummaging through my closet and distracted thinking about her first crush. She would wonder if she should tell me all about it or just write his name in her journal for the millionth time with hearts framing his name.
I would have named her Victoria Dawn, after my sister, because I knew she would be strong. I held her inside of me for such a short time, but long enough to love her and call her mine. Some dreams take a very long time and losing her crushed me causing waves of sadness. My womb should have been the safest place for her to grow. But, it wasn’t safe at all, more like a war-zone with a need to rebuild what was broken inside of me.
While I lost my dream, someone I love more than life grew hers and later shared her with me. She never called me mom, she called me Fur-fur and being her aunt helped me heal. The love of a child is a powerful thing, strong enough to fill an ache and my waiting space of wondering if I would ever be a mom.
I’m sure it was hard for my mom seeing one of her girls give life while another grieved death.
Others wondered if I would be envious of my sister and find it hard to handle, but sisters share the very best things and the worst things together. Being the overprotective big sis I never ever wanted my baby sister to experience what my heart was trying to get over. Somehow I was glad it was me instead of her.
Sisters share better as we age and come to realize that our strongest friendships are the ones we fought with the most, pulling hair and calling names, and being so mean instead of anything remotely sugary and nice.
My sister shared her with me and because of that she gave me two of the greatest gifts of cradling her joy, and becoming an aunt. My sis loved how much my husband and I loved that chunky, bald baby with blue eyes and the sweetest smile.
She shared her with me.
She shared her with us.
And at my darkest, my sister helped me cradle the pain, with me and for me and for what was lost. With flowers and cards and gifts at my mother’s house she acknowledged my broken heart and shared something just as important as those chubby cheeks and sloppy kisses…she shared my sorrows.
She will be fifteen in March and I want to buy that niece of mine something so special, that gorgeous gift has no idea how much her entry into my world and heart helped me heal. Maybe this is my small way of telling her that.
October is the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness and there are so many angles that I have covered writing about pregnancy loss, but I didn’t want to just write about what I’ve lost. I want to write about what I gained and why I celebrate life big because of a fifteen year old. I wanted to give those who have absolutely no clue how to love someone who has lost a child a few practically ways to help the ones you love heal. Share. Don’t be afraid to share their pain and don’t be afraid to share your joy. We don’t need to see you taming your joy or trying not to rub your growing belly, let us feel life kick inside of you. Let us be hopeful for you and with you, however that looks like.
After I miscarried the second time, I went home to be with my mom. It was my sister’s idea to have gifts for me on the bed and a gorgeous calla lily on the nightstand with a card that acknowledged my grief and the loss we were all feeling together. We were all grieving the loss, not just me. And when I broke down crying feeling such loss and so loved at the same time, my mom held me while I whispered, “I don’t want to live.” She whispered back, “Don’t say that.” Reminding me of all of the reasons why I should just try. Try to live. Try to hurt with others watching. Try to hope with my empty arms wrapped around the woman who gave me life and watched me grow.
My best advice to you would be to just share. Share it all. The joy, the mess, the pain. Those who have lost something so precious want you to acknowledge their pain, not avoid it. Do something special for them, a gift, a card, a token of remembrance while they try. Try to live. Try to hurt with others watching. And try to hope with empty arms.
Sisters share, all you have to do is just show up.
My baby sis and me