The Both/And of Grief {#UPLIFTseries}


This morning I had the privilege of contributing to a new internet series on holiday support for those whose lives have been touched by grief + babyloss. I chatted live on Periscope about the both/and of grief, and you can view the replay in the video below. 

I'm really excited about the UPLIFT series, which was started by CarlyMarie. It's for folks who are a little farther along their journey of grief, past where the hurt is so fresh and raw. CarlyMarie said that, unlike other holiday support series, UPLIFT is for those who are ready to take responsibility for their own grief, for those who (while they would like this to happen) don't need their friends and family to remember their baby and/or loved one who died.

This is closely in alignment with where I am in my grief journey, as in just a few days I'll be marking the fourth anniversary of my daughter's stillbirth. The idea that UPLIFT is for those who have been walking this road for a number of years now totally captivated me when CarlyMarie asked me to be a part of the series, and I'm so grateful for what is looking like it's going to be an absolutely epic offering. You can find out more about UPLIFT here, and join the event page on Facebook here.

Facing down four years without my daughter is an peculiar feeling. While I still wish I never had lost my dear Eve girl, I am no longer living in the agonizing newness of her death. What's more, I can see with increasing clarity the gifts that it feels like she has given me in her passing. I discussed all of this and more on my live Periscope broadcast, the replay of which you can watch in the video below. For those of you who are looking to read Eve's story, here are all the posts tagged with her name, starting with the most recent and working backward in time.

Thank you again to everyone who showed up to the live broadcast -- it was absolutely my honor to share space with you. I hope that, live or replay, past or present or future viewers, that if you are watching this, you find some tidbit of inspiration or insight to take away and use to nourish and strengthen your brave and glorious soul.

Learn more about UPLIFT + meet my fellow series contributors (who are amazing!) here.


On Novembers {Life After Stillbirth, Three Years Later}

I keep waiting for it to get bad.

I mean, three years and one week ago, my baby died inside of me and my world shattered and I didn't think I'd survive the day, much less make it out of the dark places.

I never thought that Novembers would start being not-hard.

But then, there's still a week to go until my girl's third {still}birthday, so I guess anything could happen.  I don't want to speak too soon.  I don't want to jinx myself.

Still, based on previous Novembers, I expected to feel memory's cold fingers stealing over my shoulders, pressing, clenching until I could hardly breathe.


People keep asking me (thank you, thank you, thank you for remembering) how I'm doing.  And I have to shrug and say, not sure how it can be, that I think I'm doing okay, actually.

That truth sounds strange coming from my own tongue.  But that doesn't make me less grateful for it.

I guess I thought that, if I ever got to this place where November doesn't sting like it used to, I'd feel guilty.  That it would make me less of a mother to the daughter I never got to raise.

But I don't feel that way.  Mostly I just feel glad.  Maybe a little confused, and a bit nervous, afraid that November 20 is going to hit like a hurricane.  But aside from that, I'm glad.  Because even though I love her, I don't want to spend the rest of my life losing a month or more of my life each year in a black hole of grief's resurgence.  Not on top of the grief I've already traversed.  Not when I have so much life to see to.

Maybe it's just pregnancy hormones, protecting me somehow.  They do that with my depression, after all.  Somehow, though, I don't think that's it (although I guess we'll see next year, huh?).

And I hesitate to saw why things are different this year.  Maybe it's just the passing of time.  Maybe it's how deep into the darkness I let myself descend.  Maybe it's the art journaling, or the questioning and pondering, or the sea of tears my eyes have poured out over her name.  Maybe it's how grateful I am for the life she's given me -- I will never stop wishing she could have stayed, but treasure the many, many gifts she left for me with her absence.

I don't know.  I don't know.  I don't know.  

I don't know what next week will bring.
I don't know how I'll spend her day.

But I am glad. 

I am glad of her.  I am glad of the me she birthed with her death, the greatest paradox I have yet to know.  And I am glad of this calm and unexpected loveliness, three years later.