Day 6. Healing – I know in the grand scheme of things my journey to healing has just begun. I still, most likely, have a lot of life left to live. I imagine the rest of my life will be spent with me trying to fill this empty void. I have reached a point in my grief where I have accepted my life for what it is. I have come to terms with the fact that Emilia is gone. I have come to terms with knowing that the joy in my life will always be intertwined with sadness and pain. Would you consider that healing? I do. I believe grief doesn’t generally just go away with time and patience. There will always be random moments in time where feelings of sadness, anger, and depression will pop up here and there. Healing is learning how to dance with both the joy and pain and not allowing the grief to consume you. I imagine grief will be a lifetime dance for me. For however long that may be.
Day 7. Wisdom – Loved ones of bereaved parents have a hard task. They are expected to be supportive and caring, all while at the same time not crossing a line and being overbearing. My plea to loving family and friends is to offer your support. Be there with them, but do not feel the need to share “wisdom”. You are not expected to have all the right answers, nor do we expect you to be capable of taking our pain away. We simply want someone to be with us while we cry and mourn our child. We need someone to validate our feelings when we are sad, angry, and confused. It’s okay to not have any words of wisdom to share with your loved one. Chances are, all they need is a hug and a supportive shoulder to cry on. But saying their children’s name[s] and helping them to remember the little soul[s] that will forever be a part of their life is a great way to help someone who has lost a child.
Day 8. Support – As Emilia’s Wings has grown, we have gathered several resources that cater to the need of infant loss bereaved families. To view our list of organizations, visit our Support Page. Our resources corner, lists several different categories: from reading material, music, eBooks, and helpful organizations all centered around perinatal loss. The most beneficial resource for me has been a local support group called, KC Hope. Each month I meet with a group of women who walk a similar journey as me. It is refreshing to be with others who know exactly how I feel and to have zero judgments as we discuss the different struggles we have living life without our child. If you are struggling with the many emotions that accompany loss, then I urge you to find a group that you can connect with. Even if you are only meeting with one other person. Having someone to talk with that can fully relate to your situation will make you feel less isolated in your grief.
Day 9. Transformed – When you are almost 8 months pregnant, you never imagine that you will leave the hospital with no baby in your arms. The last thing you’d ever envision yourself doing is organizing afterlife preparations for the child you have grown to love. When Emilia died we felt like we had aged 50 years overnight. We were visiting funeral homes and making serious life decisions that most people twice our age have still yet to experience. While I am still very much the old Charmel that I have always been, I have also transformed into someone that I never imagined I would be. A part of me is lost forever. I am far from naive anymore. I have seen and lived through a very dark part of life and I know that no one is exempt from excruciating pain. Your world can turn upside down right before your eyes, so I have learned to live in the moment. I do what I want to do and I say what I want to say. I share love every day because I know tomorrow could very well be my last. I know that life IS good, but I also know the world is filled with plenty of pain and heartache too. However, that pain has softened my heart and made me more compassionate towards others who are experiencing their own personal hardships. I know how it feels to be broken and defective, so I try to be supportive of others as they struggle through a particular ‘season’ in their life.
Day 10. Love Letter – My love letter to Emilia is something sacred. Something best kept between a mother and her child. Instead, I’d like to share with you the notebook where — within its pages, I have jotted down many love letters to Emilia. It’s nothing fancy. In fact, it’s an old and unused college notebook (GO BIG RED!) that was collecting dust on a shelf before it was given this very special purpose. This collection of letters first began as a pregnancy journal. A letter here and there to tell Emilia how we found out we were pregnant or to share all the glamorous and not so glamorous side effects of pregnancy. In this notebook I noted the first times I felt her move and when we found out she was going to be a girl. When she died, it became a safe place where I could store all of the memories, raw emotions, and tears associated with losing her. It also became a place where I could share my love for her and document all the ways in which she has left behind a lifetime of joy within my heart. Today, I am storing this letter away with the rest of my love letters for her. While I know she knows everything that is within my heart, I look forward to the day we will meet again face to face, so I can read to her each and every letter — letters written with so much love for a very special little girl.
Continue Reading on our Next Page… →