Happy due date my sweet little angel. I tried not to anticipate this day but as the day got closer, I just couldn’t help it.I can’t get you out of my mind and I never expected to feel the hurt of your loss again so deeply. Gosh, how much I wish I was posting a cute birth announcement instead of this. We had always joked that you would come early, since your sister was born 8 days before her due date, we just never expected it to be quite like this. I’ll never understand why your time here was so short, but I hope you know how much I love you. Pray for your daddy and I, and watch over your crazy sister! I’m tough and I will make it through, but I want you to look down from heaven and be proud to say, “that’s my mommy”. Until I can hold you again my sweet boy…
I don’t “do” uncomfortable feelings very well, I hate feeling vulnerable or exposed. I hate sadness and I absolutely loathe the feeling of mourning. I feel physically ill and often retreat back into myself to avoid having to think about or share really any of what I am feeling. I put on my strong face, because, I am a strong woman no doubt, but I couldn’t help but to think, is this the best way to not only deal with but GROW from my experiences?
I came across a book by Brené Brown on vulnerability… I have to say that reading it (once my heart was ready enough after losing Michael) was one of the biggest steps of growth in my life. Her words encouraged me to not run away from my fear or hurt, but to embrace it as part of who I am, as part of my story. To not run away from the feelings of sadness, anger and vulnerability, because they appear scary, but to allow myself the freedom to feel them, talk about them, and deeply experience them. I shared my story of loss, being completely open and vulnerable (which was super scary for me), and it ended up being a wonderful way of helping my heart heal and acknowledging my baby boy. It helped me make steps towards living that “wholehearted” life she talks about, something that I want to fully embrace – feeling life deeply, honestly, and authentically.
I’ve done a lot of reflection on the “where is God when bad things happen” thought process (another topic for another day) and I am confident that God does not want bad things to happen, in fact he mourns alongside of us, but he does work to bring good out of pain if you allow your heart to be open to him.
I realize life experiences, the ones that shape us, mold us, and form us, will either make us or break us. While previously I opened up in a very vulnerable blog post on delivering my stillborn son, I can now speak to my progress or renewal as a woman – in every aspect – a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. Since losing Michael I have felt an immense amount of sadness, confusion, pain, anger, even jealousy, but I have also felt a renewal in my soul, to live life filled with love and intention. That “wholehearted” life that Brown talks about in her book. That being present, “mindful living” kind of way.
My heart still hurts without a doubt, and I’m not convinced that “hole” will ever go away, but I do feel more confident, honest, and comfortable in my own skin than I ever have. I want my son to look down from heaven and be proud of his mommy, and I want to feel like his passing was not in vain, but that out of his life something beautiful was born.
xo – J