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-day 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.
4 thoughts on “About Walking With Elliot”
So wonderful that you can acknowledge the positives that Elliot has brought to you while still deeply sad about her passing. Our grief, as grandparents, is not the same path as yours, but parallel. We miss her every day and wonder what personality she would have had at each stage.I try to stay positive but I struggle with blame, judging other parents, and the unfairness of Elliot being taken too soon.
The struggle is real and it’s hard. Hopefully the negative feelings will soften over time. But I know they will never really go away. And of course we’ll always miss her and wonder “what if…” I think that will be the hardest thing for all of us, constantly wondering what she would have been like at each age and what kinds of things she would have been interested in. Would she have always looked just like Ben, or would some of my features have eventually shown through? Would she have laughed at the same silly jokes that Ben and I are so easily amused by? Those kinds of questions will always be in our minds.
Thanks for sharing your story and the love you have for Elliot. You strike so many cords (if not all of them), it’s been 4 years since our son Leo was born still and i’m trying to get myself to write about it. I finally started a week ago writing a little each night. I’ve been wanted to put together a website since the weeks after he passed to help others and I can’t get passed ‘Leo’s Story’…it’s great that you’re able to share yours and make others feel like their not alienated or justified during a time nothing makes sense.
Thanks for the idea about the cuddlecot too- I didn’t even know it existed. I was at Newton Wellesley Hospital, it would be an honor to be able to raise enough to get at the least one there and eventually into Boston Hospitals.
Thank you so much for reading my blog. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Leo. Writing has helped me so much. Take as much as time as you need to write Leo’s story. I felt so alone when Elliot first passed away. Finding out I wasn’t really alone also helped a lot. I just want other parents to know they are not alone.
I don’t remember how I learned about CuddleCots, probably on Facebook from one of my friends oversees. They are becoming more common in the states, which is so wonderful. I really wish my family had access to one when Elliot was born. I am just glad our hospital will have one for families like us soon. The hospital approved the donation and we have the funds. We’re just waiting to hear back from the foundation with final instructions for ordering and delivering the unit. I hope Boston Hospitals start using them too. I will be more than happy to provide more info as to how to go about getting approval from the hospital and then raising funds, if you’re interested. Let me know and we can connect through email.
Sending you big hugs.