3 Things I Learned From My Sleeping Angel on Her 4th Birthdayby Elizabeth MacDonald
My Baby's Heartbeat Bear Guest Post by: Allie Page, mother of 2 living and 1 sleeping angel.
Today, she tells what she has learned three years after the loss of her baby.
Photo credit: https://www.jennhydemanphotography.com/
In October 2014, I lost our baby when I was 28 weeks pregnant. She was our second pregnancy and followed her healthy brother. It was completely unexpected; no medical reasoning was ever found. She was fine one day, and gone the next. We named her Mercy. Losing Mercy has been the most pivotal and poignant experience of my life, and while no one would choose this as part of their story, I'm thankful for all I've learned from my sweet sleeping girl.
Three Things I have Learned From Losing Mercy
Face Emotions Head On
Before I lost Mercy, I carried a durable, bulletproof exterior. When my shell cracked, I realized I had two choices: 1. Embrace it and let it shatter, or 2. Pretend to move on by numbing and ignoring the pain. Either way, I knew it wasn't going to be easy and the effects would be lasting. If I tried to fill the cracks before they were ready to be put back together, it would only be a matter of time before the pieces broke again. It's not until we've completely fallen apart, felt the weight of despair, taken the time to mourn and grieve all of the hopes and dreams that tiny person embodied, that we can begin the healing process. If we move forward before we're ready, we become stuck emotionally -Paralyzed, actually. It is hard, and raw, but the consequences of not facing our emotions are much more severe. Even if you put the pieces of your bulletproof exterior back together, or worse, move forward as if nothing happened, it's not as thick as it was. It continually grows thinner, becoming more and more brittle, until one day, it all crumbles and breaks again. The pain is compounded and now regret, guilt, and a slew of other emotions are added to the pot.
I've learned now, three years out, feelings and emotions are much more nuanced and complicated than we perceive or process. It's easier to work out misunderstandings and hurts in the moment. Keep the air clear, a short - ideally non-existent - list of offenses, and to apologize and forgive quickly. This has been a game changer in all my relationships, but especially my marriage. Life is too short and can be gone in an instant. It's just not worth it.