Grace's Due Date

In the months after I delivered Grace, I found myself drawn to the computer each day and throughout many of the sleepless nights, in search of compassion, answers, and a listening ear. I felt like I was drowning under a weight of hopelessness and sadness and when the emails showed up in my inbox, it was like someone threw me a line with a lifesaver at the end. It was with my 2 online support groups that I could be raw and real about my pain, my fears, my anger and my depression. I had so many people around me who gave such trite and packaged answers which all to often seemed only purposed to make that person feel better, and left me feeling hurt and more upset.

Sometimes just seeing emails with the words "{{{Candy}}}}" or "I cried when I read your email", telling me, here's a hug and I am there with you in your pain, soothed my aching heart and helped me. It was refreshing to receive their nonjudgmental and thoughtful replies to my regular postings. The women and men from Cristin's Prayer offered me words of understanding that came from their place of healing after a loss. They provided many helpful suggestions for positive ways to cope with the daily struggles we experience and go through in the months and years after our baby has died.

Here is one of the letters I wrote on February 14th, 2002, which was Grace's due date. This was in response their emails asking me how I was coping and handling a difficult day. They of course understood how hard significant dates like due dates, birthdays and holidays are for a bereaved parent.

Hello Friends, I just wanted to let you all know how the 14th (Grace's due date) went:

I spent the day with one of my close girlfriends and we drove around and got things for Grace - balloons, silk flowers, a vase for the ground, a stand for the I love you/teddy bear sign, and a candle to burn every year in her honor. I also bought a special candle to burn for each of your little ones too. My husband met up with us and then he and I went to the grave for the first time since her burial. I put together the flower arrangement and he put them in the vase and dug a hole for it in the ground. We looked at pictures of her and released the balloons. Then we came home and watched her video of the funeral for the first time. We ended the night snuggling while watching a movie which helped to take our minds off all the sadness from our unfulfilled dreams.

I was kind of numb all day- felt like I was 1/2 here and 1/2 of me was somewhere else. I cried when I got her flowers, because I realized I never will smell flowers with her, nor put them in her hair. I thought of all the ways she would have received flowers: performances, graduations, prom, and weddings as a flower girl and as a bride... I wept while watching the video too. Again I felt that longing ache for her that is so deep. I made it through, and I am really grateful for all the emails, cards, and calls this week, they helped a lot.

Thanks for thinking of my dear Grace and me. I hope you are all doing ok.

Mommy to Grace, born sleeping 12-20-01

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