The first book I read after Nelle died in September of 2015 was Rising Strong by Brene Brown. It was exactly what I needed at that time. Brown talks about three parts of the rising strong process: the Reckoning, the Rumble, and the Revolution. Of the rumble, she writes: “The rumble begins with turning up our curiosity level and becoming aware of the story we’re telling ourselves about our hurt, anger, frustration, or pain.” Continue reading
Somewhere in the middle of last year, I decided that I would write a book. I had the content captured in my blog and my private writing, but knew that it needed to be organized and re-written and edited. Still, it was something I wanted to pursue. Continue reading
I took me over a year to attend my first SHARE meeting. It was hard. The passage of months hadn’t lessened my pain. Speaking around a table of parents who had experienced loss did not bring me comfort. Instead, I felt the weight of their stories and sadness. The next day, I saw my therapist and it was her gentle suggestion that maybe the group was “too much” for me at that time. I was carrying my own problems; how could I carry theirs too? Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I submitted an essay to a website under a specific theme. The rejection email came with a simple sentence: “Thank you but unfortunately this is not what we are looking for.” It hurt more than it should have, as I know rejection is an unavoidable aspect of writing.
An opportunity arose recently for me to send my story to the Chicago Daily Herald through someone I know. I worked on it. I tailored it to the type of audience I knew would be reading. I went a long time hearing nothing, then was asked to submit a photo and the suburb where I live. Not unlike my pregnancy, I didn’t believe that it would actually be published until it happened. And today, it was included on the website.
It was validating, because it made me feel that my story was worth telling. Awareness about pregnancy and infant loss will come from sharing stories. Awareness about grief will come from talking openly and honestly about navigating loss, and the days, weeks, months, years, and lifetime that follow. Stories matter.
This past week, I have been editing some of my own writing. It is writing that I did in the months between losing Nelle and Iris. I found myself tensing up as I read my own words. I was still reeling from the pain of losing Nelle, pregnant again, terrified. And looking back, I know what is coming. That unfathomable doctor’s appointment where I learned that I had lost Iris too. I have to read through all of my fears that, in the end, proved to be true. Continue reading