I have been incredibly blessed to have found a supportive community of other mothers who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. These women get it and they understand me. I found KC Hope just three weeks after Emilia died. KC Hope is a Kansas City Northland based support group designed for both men and women who have experienced the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. There are a lot of different situations and people who have helped me grieve these last few months, but so much of the support provided has been from the ladies in KC Hope.
Our small but mighty group meets the first Thursday of every month, with an occasional smaller gathering in the middle of the month if we feel we need extra support. Our topics range from a little bit of everything… giving grief an outlet, not being defeated, making a plan of action, and so on. What I get the most from our meetings is the companionship from the other ladies. We all have one painful bond that has brought us together. I share my story about Emilia, and in return, I have the honor of hearing incredible stories about other angel babies. We all feel free to vent our frustrations surrounding the death of our child(ren) and can relate to one another in a way that no other person can. It is a bond that is so incredibly special! In the short amount of time that I have been in this ‘club’, I have found a group of women that I could never imagine not having in my life. These kinds of friendships last a lifetime!
Last night was our July meeting and we specifically shared an overview of our own grief. Each of us was given a blank sheet of paper and were told to illustrate our present stage of grief onto a blank piece of paper. Once finished we shared our drawings and explained what our artwork represented to us. One woman explained that her once colorful world was now nothing but shades of black and white. Another woman talked about the surge of pain that comes and goes, like getting struck by a lightning bolt over and over again. Many expressed a life of sorrow, filled with a lot of loneliness and a black cloud following them wherever they go. And another woman left her page blank, as there was no other way to express her grief than to convey how empty she feels.
This is my grief. Although, if provided more paper, I could probably write a novel just in artwork of all the places my grief has taken me. Grief will (plenty of times) bring me to a very dark and scary place, but my eyes have also been opened to a lot of joy too. At that present moment last night – when I was asked to capture my grief – the joy was outweighing everything else. In the bottom-center of my artwork, there is a woman in the forefront crying and her heart is visibly broken. This woman is me. No matter how hard I try, I will always be broken. My life cannot and will not continue to go on the same as it did months before. In the background, I am surrounded by family and friends. This group of people are those who have chosen to remain by my side. They are the ones who refuse to let me fall and help me get back up when I am struggling. I am so incredibly lucky to have not just one, but several individuals in my life who choose to shower me with love and support. Up high in the sky is a sweet cherub girl laying on a fluffy cloud in Heaven. This angel is Emilia watching over me and my family. Although she is not on earth, she is always with me and there is so much peace knowing she is in a warm and safe place… a place that knows nothing but love, kindness, and happiness. Between us (Emilia and myself) is the overwhelming amount of love that I will always have for her. Despite all of the sorrow and pain, there will always be an unending amount of love that surpasses everything else. I would choose to have her in Heaven and in my thoughts than to never have been given her at all. All the pain is worthwhile knowing she exists, knowing she is in a wonderful place, and knowing that I will see her again.
How would you capture your grief? We would love to see imagery of your present take on grief. There is no wrong or right response, only truth. Grief can and will take you to so many different places. Sometimes you don’t fully realize you have reached a certain point until you let your emotions flow out onto paper and allow yourself to gaze at it with your own eyes. For those in the Kansas City area who are overwhelmed with grief from the loss of a child, I highly encourage you to join me at KC Hope. If not, then find a support group that is close to you. Having an outlet to reach out to others is rewarding in so many ways. Asking for help and admitting your struggles is by no means a sign of weakness. In fact, I consider it quite brave. There is something liberating about tearing down your guards and revealing your fragile inner truths. You will find that others need you just as much as you need them. We need each other.
First Thursday of Every Month
7pm-9pm in Room 3107
Antioch Bible Baptist Church
800 NE 72nd Street
Gladstone, MO 64118