Gifts of Comfort

I am sitting, cup of tea nearby, wrapped in the beautiful shawl that arrived in the mail today. It came from a friend I hadn’t heard from yet. A friend whose first pregnancy ended in the second trimester after a trisomy diagnosis. A friend who understands the grief. Someone made her a shawl to keep her company as she moved through the pain of loss. She found comfort in it and so, in turn, sent one to me.

I reread her letter after Ada fell asleep and finally let myself cry. Today was a day of waves. Feeling good and productive, getting things done, then slowly recognizing the ache growing in my chest until my eyes swam. I couldn’t find space to do more than allow the overflow to land on my cheeks. Ada was close all day and kept checking in to see if I was sad.

Yes, sweetheart, I’m feeling sad right now, and I’ll be okay.

Sometimes she wanted to know how sad. How do I quantify sadness to myself, never mind a three year old? I wonder, repeatedly, if it’s easier to lose a baby when you don’t already have another child, or when you do. It’s a ridiculous, unanswerable question and yet my mind wrestles with it too often – another way to acknowledge my feelings without being fully present with them. Another way to cope.

The shawl is comforting, soft, gray. In a moment I will step outside with it, listen to the ocean, breathe in the full moon, wish on a star.

I am exhausted. This is exhausting. Sleep is elusive. So tonight I will go to bed, grateful for many things, devastated by Ben’s death, and pray that fear doesn’t grip me too tightly. Tonight I will let the tears come when they need to, I will put my hand on my daughter’s chest whenever I need to know she’s alive, I will do what I can to trust that all is well, some way, some how.

My dad said to me tonight after I finally showed him Ben’s pictures and footprints that I didn’t deserve to experience this loss. Nobody does.

Nobody does.

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2 Responses to Gifts of Comfort

  1. Emily says:

    What a beautiful gesture and a lovely gift! One thing you have to say about this community, as much as not one of us wants to be a part of it, we’re incredibly good at propping each other up. I’m thanking God for your friend!

    After losing Leila, the first time I saw Andrew I went from blubbering mess to mommy-mode. And stayed there. You have to wonder if mommy-mode prolongs the feelings of grief, dilutes them, but makes them last longer.

    Nobody deserves this. How true.

  2. I am reading your blog today. I am crying tears with you, wishing I could hug you! While I feel I know some of your pain I can’t dare to believe I can even fathom all of it. You are an extremely strong women. I pray you carry on through life with your precious family and know that you will one day meet Benjamin in Heaven. I pray with all I have that gives you hope. I long for the day that I meet my little ones but pray that my future children I will hold in my arms on Earth. I know the pain will never be gone but I wish you as much comfort as possible throughout the rest of your life. I know I don’t “know” you personally but you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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