I have decided to start a blog about the loss of our daughter, Roxy Jean. They will begin with diary entries immediately following her death. It will be very hard to read for some, but it's important for me to share this in hopes that it can help me, help other grieving parents, and possibly help my friends and family understand where we have been and where we are...
This blog was largely inspired by the courage and insight I found on the blog of another grieving parent: http://stilllifewithcircles.blogspot.com/ - and I would like to acknowledge that. It is also inspired by the brave, honest, beautiful and raw Facebook posts of our friend Alicia, who, along with her husband Mark and son Asher, lost a 4-month old child and sibling, respectively, this past January.
I'll just start with a post I put on Facebook which is probably as good a place as any:
On August 1st, 2007, Terra and I lost a daughter (and Mason a sister) named Roxy Jean. She was stillborn at 37 weeks. There were no warning signs, and there was nothing conclusive determined to cause her death in the autopsy. The day she was quietly stillborn into the Bloomington Hospital Labor and Delivery operating room via C-section is a scene that Terra and I relive and walk through, in some way, every day of our lives. The feeling of holding her is etched into my arms in a very permanent way, and remembering her thick black hair, closed eyes and inanimate pale arms can knock the breath out of me at any given time.
I have considered writing about this in a public way for a couple of years, but I’ve never quite known whether it would help me… and it may not. But I know people that know about it probably do wonder sometimes where I am when I’m not quite there. Also, I often feel like I'm leaving someone out when I talk about my children and post their pictures. I guess this is my way of trying not to do that.
It’s not something I talk about very well or often, mostly because I find myself exhausted from trying to manage the reactions of others. Not that these reactions are “wrong” or anything (okay, well a few are)… it’s just not an easy story for me to tell or for others to hear, I guess.
I see her sometimes in my other two children. I see her sometimes in other children, period. She’s always, always, always there. I guess I just felt like announcing that I do not have 2 children, I have 3. One just isn’t physically here, but she follows me everywhere I go. Her name is Roxy Jean. She’s two years, 6 months and 21 days old.
At a funeral for the beloved child of friends of ours this year, the reverend said something that hit me really hard about how each child carves out his own, completely unique space in our hearts. I feel very lucky to have all of my children, and they all have their own unique places carved deeply into the tissues of my tired, beating heart.
Here's to them.