Day 3. After Loss Self Portrait A photo of you after your loss.
TOGETHER: This is the closest I’ve come to sharing a picture of them other than on the table at the funeral and that one was taken in their gowns/hats after they had passed. The first picture in this series is when Elliot and Alexis are still with us and a few hours after Alice had passed. This is the most pure expression of our heartache after loss.
BROKEN: I’m holding Elliot and Alexis on my chest. They are still with me. I’m desperate to keep them warm. I’m exhausted in every sense. Lost. Broken.
SHOCK: Holding Elliot the day after. He’s perfect. He died with a smile on his lips. The last to leave me. He’s gone.
HEALING: The week after we lost them we tried to explain it to their big sister. We made foot and hand prints of our family and showed her how little the babies feet were. I tried to smile for the first time since they left my arms – for her.
TRYING: We were invited to a couple’s dinner for Valentine’s Day. The first “we should have been somewhere else” holiday. I tried to find non-maternity clothes to wear. I tried to put on a smile and make small talk. I tried.
REMEMBER: Watching Nora play with her cousin at the Children’s Museum. Wondering what it would have been like to watch her play with her brother and sisters. Remembering them in everything; around every corner were reminders I didn’t ask for.
LAUGHTER: Time with women I love on the shores of Lake Superior. God’s beauty all around. Searching for laughter with my daughter – for her, and for me.
LOVE: Nearly six months after their death. My brother-in-law’s wedding day. They remembered them, acknowledged them as a part of the family, as missing. Genuine joy. Feeling the physical fatigue that I didn’t want to feel on the dance floor that night. Intentional connection with my husband as we continue to grieve together.
HOPE: A walk in the woods on a fall day, alone. One year ago I was pregnant. Three dragonflies bounced along the trail, following me. I stopped. Bent down to say hello. He hopped on my hand and lingered – twice. I miss you. I will see you again.
ONE YEAR AGO TODAY = 4 weeks pregnant: The second HCG level = 2331. We surprised Nate’s family with the news.