I started my blog 2 years ago. It began as an online journal of sorts....a way for me to keep friends and family up-to-date on my pregnancy (with Ayden) and for me to be able to chronicle this new chapter in my life. On August 25th, 2009, my blog took a turn I never expected. I became a part of a community of blogging mothers better known as "Baby Loss Mothers." There are hundreds of blogs centered around the loss of a child. I've often wondered why the media doesn't recognize this. Blogging is so popular; so many people are a part of the blogging world. I recently saw something about blogging mothers on Good Morning America, and I also heard blogging mentioned on "The Talk" one afternoon. Both instances were about blogging mothers. They are just your everyday, stay-at-home (or working) mother...perhaps incorporating a special skill or hobby into their blog. That's great....all for it...and I'm glad they're being recognized. However, on the flip side....there's this community. A community of mothers blogging through grief; trying to get a grasp on a new reality; attempting to make the most of a life they never wished for themselves; a community of some of the strongest, most inspirational women I've ever "met." But, no one talks about this community. I guess it's taboo to talk about the death of a child. It's too hard. It's too sad.
You know what? It happens every. single. day. And the fact that it is a taboo subject makes the grief that much more isolating. There have been many times when I've been made to feel awkward about sharing or talking about our loss because it was just too much for someone to handle. It makes people feel uneasy. They don't know what to say. They don't know how to respond when it's brought up. And oftentimes, we're the ones left feeling like we did something wrong by talking about it....because we made the conversation awkward. Well, I am so sorry that talking about my child, who happens to have passed away, made YOU feel uncomfortable. (I'm generalizing here....speaking for all the parents out there who have lost children.)
I get so hyped up about this sometimes because I watch TV and I see vulgarity, crime, hypocrisy, greed....all the evils of the world getting all the attention....being glorified. I watch Oprah's farewell season and how trivial some of the topics are. I want to write in and say, "Hey...you want a story? You want to reach people? You want to touch lives? Talk about our children. Make it real to people. Go out on a limb and talk about the taboo. Have a studio full of women who have been there, who are on this journey, and are surviving....and are stronger for it and making a positive difference in this world." (Granted, she did have a family on a while back who had experienced the loss of their children....I give her props for that.)
I saw Nicole Kidman interviewed today about her new movie, The Rabbit Hole. It's about child loss. I was glad someone was bringing this subject out. The last movie I remember touching on this subject (I'm sure there have been more...I know there have, but I don't go seeking those out...) was My Girl. And while I was glad someone was talking about, making a movie about it, and causing people to see anotther side of life...a darker side....I was still sort of angered by it. Because Nicole Kidman hasn't been there. She's an actress playing a part. We are LIVING IT.
I get tired sometimes of being a part of something that people just don't want to talk about. It's too hard. It's hard to imagine. It makes people uncomfortable. Again....try living it. You think it's hard to talk about it? hear about it? read about it? LIVE IT then tell me what's hard and what's not. Your perspective changes, and the world is completely different.
I don't know why I got on my high horse about this here. It wasn't what I intended to write about at all. I came to my blog to recognize people who have helped me along this journey. I was given a blog award - the "Cherry on Top Award" (for blogs with that little touch of something extra). I was struck because the person who gave it to me is new to this experience. She lost her son recently to SIDS, and she reached out to me. I can't tell you how humbled I become when someone calls me inspirational, strong, or credits me for a change they've made in their life. I just shake my head back and forth as I read comments that commend ME for something....and I just repeat over and over, "No, no, no, no. It's not me."
It's not me.
I'm not strong.....or at least, I don't feel like I am. Even at my "strongest" I feel weak.
And "inspirational" - I don't even know how to respond. I don't feel like an inspiration to anyone. I'm human. I'm a sinner. I make mistakes. I get angry. I lash out. I'm selfish. I doubt. I'm just trying my best to do what I feel is right in this new life of mine. Many days, I feel like I'm just going through the motions....waiting for the day when life feels "normal" again. It's been over a year, and I'm still waiting. I've made it this far just by taking it one day at a time. I've approached our loss and my grief in the way that was right for me and in the way that I would teach my children to approach it. And I'm not the first to approach all of this in the way that I have. So, I'm always humbled to be called an inspiration because I'm just doing the best I can with the cards we've been dealt.....and I've tried to follow God's leading in all of it. Some days, I ignored Him. Some days, I was so angry with Him. Some days, I pleaded for answers only to hear silence. But, I continued to trust Him....even when I didn't want to. Some may call that strong and inspirational. To me....it's just me handling it the only way I know how.
Thank you is all I can say. And if you've contacted me and said, "Because of you.....or...because of your blog.....or......because of Ayden....." it isn't me - it's HIM. Give HIM the credit because I don't deserve it. I'm just a tool. My blog is a tool. Ayden's story is a tool.....and HE is the one using us and our story for HIS glory. Every day, I wish it wasn't us....I wish it wasn't our story....I wish it wasn't my Ayden, I wish it didn't have to be any of our children, but I can't change any of it (believe me, if I could....oh, I would!). But, this is our reality, and I choose to use it to glorify Christ and the promises He has made us.
I'm not good at reciprocating the award-giving. I usually don't have time to sit down and do all that it requires. So, I hope it's okay if I change it up a little. I do want to recognize some of the women who have helped me. Because once upon a time, I was new to this. I was seeking answers. I was feeling alone and desperately seeking out people who were experiencing this loss. I needed to see that it was possible to move forward. These women and their blogs were the first ones I came to. They brought me so much comfort and provided insight and wisdom that helped me through. My life has been changed because God placed them in my life and because their sweet children were a part of this world (and gosh, I can't wait to meet those children someday!)
There are many others, too, but these ladies were the first five I stumbled upon. I think of them and their children so often, and like them, I wish the world could know our stories and know our children. I will always remember your children, and they will always hold a special place in my heart.