After Ryann died, we were given several books on grief, but they never really clicked with me. So many of the books seem to be how-to's on getting through. On top of that, so many books are aimed at people who have lost parents, siblings, or friends. While I don't want to diminish each of these types of losses in any way, I would find myself getting angry or even laughing at people who were so torn up over losing a grandparent a decade ago who was trying to give me advice on losing my daughter. I found that I had an overwhelming need to make contact with other families who had lost children, to read about their experiences, to gain strength from our common experience. And I became an avid blog lurker.
One of my favorite blogs that I keep tabs on, that I've linked to before, is Jack at Random. He is now a father of three. He and his wife have a beatiful 3-year-old girl and an amazing newborn boy. Their second born, Margot, was stillborn due to a freak accident at 38 weeks. Their story continually gives me courage. Like us, they also are keenly aware that they wouldn't have a son right now if Margot would not have died. Because of her death, Leo was created. Such a joyful thing that will forever be inextricably tied to the most awful event in their lives. Just as I forsee us with Clifton, they also revel in the day to day frustrations of raising their children. They know too well what it's like to not have that opportunity.
Last night I fell asleep crying. There are moments when the absence of Ryann is palpable. Moments when I really feel the unfairness of her death. Scenes from the hospital flash through my mind. Kissing her goodbye. Usually either Clifton or Ryann feels close and real to me at any one time. I think this has more to do with the pregnancy itself than with how things will be in the future. And with Clifton growing inside me, I've found myself so fully invested in him that Jared has taken over nurturing our memories of Ryann. I am so grateful and always astounded by how effortlessly Jared and I switch our roles so that both of our children are cared for at any one time. Last night while I was swept up in memories of Ryann and Clifton was starting to feel like a foreign appendage in me, Jared just laid next to us, comforting me and whispering his love to Clifton. This morning, after a night of mediocre sleep, I was back on duty with Clifton while Jared headed off to work with Ryann tucked safely in his mind. In a way it's as if Jared really has been Ryann's primary caretaker this year after all.
|Moments after Ryann's birth.|
|Jared and Ryann, the morning after Ryann's birth.|
|Although this picture isn't in perfect focus, it's one of my all-time favorites.|
I love that it shows how close Jared and Ryann were, Ryann looking
almost peeved at the interuption of the photographer.