The days after

I’m glad
we made it through the day.

I’m glad
May
is almost over.

I have had so many thoughts
swirling through my head recently.

Here are a few…

I have wonderful family and friends
who let me know
they won’t forget
Malou Amelia
either.

I am lucky.

***

I can’t look at any pictures
from 2008
without remembering
exactly
how I felt when they were taken.

I feel physically sick
just looking at them,
even the happy ones.

I am sad happy times are marred by grief.

***

I remember
Malou’s
scent.

I have the tiny pink outfit
she first wore
saved in a plastic bag,
so if I ever forget her scent,
I can hopefully retrieve it.

It is stained with her fluids,
and I love that
physical piece of her,
even more than the locks of
her beautiful dark hair.
I don’t know why,
but it’s true.

I am sad we had to cremate her.

***

I love Liam
so much,
my heart could burst.

Tom told me the other day
that as bad as it was to lose
Malou
he is grateful it happened
when it did
because he couldn’t have lived
through getting to know her
and then losing her.

I’m not sure.
I know what he means,
yet one of my biggest sorrows
is not knowing anything about
our girl.

I am terrified of losing Liam.

***

I take pictures and video
of my son
so I will have reminders
of him if we ever lost him,
and then I feel like throwing up
for even thinking the thought.

I feel guilty
if I don’t make every moment count,
if I take time to myself,
because what if that’s our
last day together?

I am worried about losing the ones I love,
especially Liam.

I appreciate every day
but I don’t want to live in fear.

***

We made the best out of yesterday,
Malou’s
2nd birthday…
but there is nothing really happy about it.

I want to celebrate her life,
but I am sad that she didn’t get a life
outside the womb.

I am sorry I can’t look past her death
to see her life.

***

I saw a bit of Oprah yesterday
with Rosie O’Donnell…
here’s a piece that spoke to me:

“At some point, you have to stop telling yourself the same story, and it was Tracy actually who told me this. She said: ‘Since I met you, you say a lot that your mother died. … You’re defining yourself in the past,'” Rosie says. “She said, ‘When you are actually a mother, you can stop being the motherless child and step into the role of being the mother.”

And I thought about how much losing
Malou
defines me.

Yet of course
there is more to my life than
my daughter.

But I still want everyone to know about her
and the only way I can do that
is to share her story,
which is my story.

At what point, if ever,
do I stop sharing that story?

At what point, if ever,
do I stop defining myself in the past?

And instead define myself
in the present?

And dream of the future
and what it can bring?

Perhaps I am scared.
I dreamt so much of the future
when I was pregnant with
Malou
and it was the worst pain
imaginable
to have to let it all go.

I am no longer a childless mother.

But I have trouble
reconciling my identity now
with that identity.

I wasn’t a childless mother for very long.

But it impacted me more than
anything else in my life.

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I know exactly what you mean. Those 15 months of living as a childless mother will haunt me forever.
    xo

  2. Don’t ever stop sharing your story of Malou. She will be with you forever and so the story will continue…
    Your writings are such a tribue to Malou and we are all blessed to remember her through you. Your words so powerful and moving and I know they are the feelings of many other mamas around the world suffering just as you are. We will NEVER forget her.
    Love you –

  3. I know what you mean about taking lots of videos and pictures to remember you baby “in case”. Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me because I think about what I would do if Eleanor died. Do all parents think about such things? Probably not. We’re changed forever by our experience.

  4. I’m glad I’m not the only one, Beth. I sometimes feel crazy. xoxo

  5. Thanks, Mom. I am lucky to have you (and so is Malou) and so glad our family embraces Malou so fully. I know not everyone’s so lucky. Love you.

  6. All of those things are very true.


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