As I sit here thinking about this last year, I am so grateful for how far I have come since the loss of Halia but my journey is not over. I still grieve and mourn and today is one of those days.Tonight is my son’s Christmas program and I feel my heart sink. Why should such a joyous celebration bring me to tears? All those sweet little ones dancing on-stage and making a joyful noise. This is just so difficult for my family; last year, the Christmas Program was only a couple of weeks after the loss of Halia and the first time I had been in public since our loss. Some people knew but many did not. My anxiety was so high as I saw other families and people expecting me to be me. Friends, loss changes you to the core. I felt like I was living outside my body.
Two events really stand out to me that night. One was watching all the little ballerinas on-stage dancing and wondering what Halia would have looked like. Nick and I cried together as we watched those little angelic faces up there dancing their hearts out.
The second event that shattered me was seeing another acquaintance who was pregnant wave to me. You know what I did at that moment? I just turned away… I could not handle any social interactions at this time, much less someone who was blissfully pregnant. This interaction honestly tore me up inside with guilt; she was just being kind and had no idea why I ignored her. Remember this next time someone acts “rude”: do you know what they are going through right then? There might be a reason. This interaction though was my key driver to finally announce our story to the world. I could no longer keep it to myself. I needed friends, I needed a community, but most of all, I needed to be heard.
This night a year ago started me on my journey to share our story with others. Over this last year, I have come along side many other mothers who have lost and needed to share their story. We have cried together, shared photos, and even celebrated either beautiful milestones or rainbow pregnancies. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Halia’s death was the start of a beautiful new chapter in my life with new friendships, new love, new life adventures, a whole new storyline. My beautiful daughter, I would not trade you for the world. How could I? You made me who I am today and I love the new me, scars and all. Thank you.
Once more, please reach out if you have lost. You are not alone and I want to sit with you, cry with you, listen with you, and hope with you.