Exactly two years ago, I began my own, very personal grief journey.
2 years… 24 months… 730 days… 17,520 hours… 1,051,200 minutes… 63,072,000 seconds.
Two years without you, Ellis. It feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago at the same time. I’m not sure how I’ve survived without you, but I have, and this is what I want others to know…
Your short life has a purpose
I know that you were meant for more… and just because you had to leave us before we even got to really know you and watch you grow up, your life still has a purpose. That purpose is to bring others LOVE — in whatever shape or form that takes. I hope you know I am trying my best to keep your memory alive because you deserve to be celebrated and remembered.
You are so missed
There is not a second that goes by where you aren’t on my mind or on the tip of my tongue. So many people think of you so often and wonder who you would be today… what you would look like… what your laugh would sound like… what your personality would be… so many questions we all have on who you would be. So many hearts ache for you SO very much… every second of every day.
You took my breath away
The second I saw you, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. You were absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way. The thought of you still takes my breath away. I have panic attacks when I think back to that day two years ago. The first time I saw you. The first time I held you. You were the most beautiful baby, and that will never change.
It doesn’t get easier
It has been two years and I still break down often. Losing you will never get easy. I will never “get over it”. My smile doesn’t always mean I’m fine. My love for you will never change. I will live with your loss day in and day out. Over time, it will get different, but it will never get easier.
The men grieve too
Your dad lost a piece of himself, just as I did. I carried you for 38 weeks and 5 days, and he tried to carry me through your death… all while grieving himself. He needs opportunities from family and friends to talk about you and share his grief, too. It is important to me that he has those chances to talk about you and share his love for you.
My grief is not a disease
I am not contagious, nor do I have a disease. My grief will not infect those around me. My grief, however, is a very huge part of who I am now. Some days, my grief consumes me in ways I don’t know how to handle at times. Some days, I may only get teary-eyed and not fall completely apart. Some days, I think of you and just smile. Every single day, I feel your loss, and I grieve in whatever way I need to in that moment. Grief is not a medical disease, it is a human response to loss. Grief is not an illness, or depression. It is a very large expression of love. Grief can only be a disease if love is.
I am proud of you
I will continue to talk about you. I will continue to say your name. I will continue to share your story… because I am so incredibly proud of you. I will always be your mother, and my love for you will never change, no matter how much time passes. I consider myself extremely lucky to be your mom.
I don’t need sympathy
When I share you with others, or on social media… I am not looking for sympathy. I am looking for others to remember you with me. Even if they didn’t get the chance to hold you or know you, I am not afraid to share any part of your story with others. Those are the only things I have left of you… your memories. I want to share them without sympathy or a pitied look. Again, I want others to remember you with me.
Grief has changed me
I am no longer the carefree soul I used to be. I have a level of anxiety I’ve never experienced before, and I am just trying to figure it out the best I can. I now understand how fragile life truly is. I have an immense amount of guilt that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I have become forgetful and my organizational skills are lacking. I get angry more easily. I cry when I least expect it. Losing you has changed me… because you are such a huge piece of me.
I have chosen to be vulnerable
Child loss is uncomfortable. People are more aware of stillbirth, but it is still a taboo topic. Not talking about what happened to you and our family, doesn’t change the fact that you were stillborn, because you were still born. Being vulnerable has allowed me to share your story. It has given me the opportunity to meet people who have experienced child loss and grief like I have. I am now more open and honest. I’m more open to getting help… (it only took me 1 year and 9 months to seek a counselor’s help in meeting my grief head on.) I am no longer afraid to share pictures or details of you with others, or bring you up in conversation in fear of being pitied or judged. I will continue to write about you because it helps me continue to grieve… and I am comfortable with others choosing not to read it.
I didn’t have a choice when it came to losing you… but I do have a choice in how I respond to it. I choose vulnerability… because it keeps me close to you. It allows me to talk about you, and it gives me a chance to share all the love I have for you.
Ellis, I miss you so much it hurts. I wish I could change so many things. I would do anything to have you back here with us.
Happy 2nd heavenly birthday, sweet boy.