If you’ve stumbled across this blog, it’s most likely because you are a bereaved parent or you are supporting someone in your life who is grieving the loss of a baby. First, and foremost, I am sorry. I am sorry you are going through the worst possible thing a parent can go through. I am sorry you no longer have your baby, or babies, in your arms. One of the most important things for you to know is you are not alone. Sadly, pregnancy loss is common. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. One in 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth. My daughter was the 1 in 160. It is painful and unfair. Not only for me and my family, but also for you and for all the other loss moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins out there.
I started Walking With Elliot for several reasons. It is a tribute to my beautiful daughter Elliot, who passed away unexpectedly only a few days before birth. You can read more about Elliot’s story here. It also serves as an outlet for me to express my feelings and share my experience as a bereaved mother. This has become an important channel for me as I work through my grief.
Elliot has taught me so much about life, love, and death. I have learned a lot about myself since Elliot’s birth. One of my new life goals is to help educate others about pregnancy/infant loss, grief, and the day to struggles associated with perinatal loss. I also have a strong desire to support and connect with other loss moms.
I have often asked myself what it means to be a bereaved parent. There isn’t an easy answer to this question, and the answer is different and ever-changing for everyone who finds themselves in this tragic, life altering situation. As you find your path in this new life, you may ask yourself the same question.
For me, it means always being scared that I may one day mourn the loss of not just one child, but maybe two or three. It means constantly feeling like something is missing from my life. It means always feeling Elliot’s physical absence. It means constantly wondering what Elliot would be like today. It means missing the old me, when I was so carefree and thought that since I did my best to be a good person, surely only good things would come my way.
It also means not taking anything for granted, especially the relationships and love that I am lucky enough to have. It means feeling blessed that Elliot came into my life. I cannot imagine my life without her. She is not in my arms, but she is in my heart and has changed me for the better.
It means learning to live my new life and not letting the hope for the future slip away from me. So yes, I will always be scared, but I choose to let the hope for the future guide me through my dark days. And I know Elliot will be right next to me, Ben, and our family every step of the way.
Life is very different than it once was, for all of us. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be good again. We can find happiness and hope again. We will survive. Let’s find our way together.