As a bereaved mother and blogger, connecting with new people who haven’t walked a similar path creates a renewed sense of vulnerability. Everything I write about here is very personal. That was my intention when I first started writing about Elliot, my grief, and all the significant experiences that have followed.
I spent the first year after Elliot’s stillbirth trying to stay afloat, finding my way through the darkness. At the time, I connected with a lot of new people, and they were like Ben and me. They were grieving parents, too. They had lost a big part of themselves, just as we had, and we could relate to one another. My loved ones wanted to help, and one of the only ways for them to do that was to be present. When your child dies, life no longer makes sense. I was devastated, confused, angry, and lost. I also had an abundance of love reserved specifically for Elliot. I searched for ways to let that love out into the universe. I also needed to confront all the other emotions. I soon discovered this was an essential part of my process and healing. So I wrote.
I wrote for Elliot, for myself, for family and friends, and for parents alike. I promised myself I’d always tell my truth, no matter how emotional and raw it was. My writing had to be honest. There was a roller-coaster of emotions happening inside me, and I needed to let them all out. I poured my heart and soul into my blog posts. Often times, I wondered if I was oversharing. I felt vulnerable, but it was cathartic. I needed to share it, even if no one else read it.
Slowly, I started to find my way with the help of family, friends, grief counselors, and support groups. The heaviness of the grief started to lift and the light returned. Then I got pregnant with Brynn and found myself navigating pregnancy after loss with new fears and anxiety. And also new feelings of love and joy. Then came parenting after loss and learning how to navigate my new role as a mother to one child in my arms and the other in my heart. Different PTSD surfaced. Next, my pregnancy with Isla, her arrival, and then our decision to be “done.” Now, a mother to two girls in my arms and one in my heart. New love. Different grief. Constant evolution. Still very personal and still honest.
Over the past few years, I’ve become a bit more guarded with my grief. I still share things about Elliot, my love for her, and my grief on my social media pages, but I tend to keep the really raw stuff to myself. It’s too hard to go back there. I don’t deny that I have those feelings, I just can’t revisit them the way I used to. I also have a hard time letting new people into that part of my life. For some reason, knowing anyone can come here and read my most intimate words from the most difficult time in my life, makes me feel vulnerable all over again.
It’s a random, strange feeling, and I felt inspired to write about it today.