I’m awake early this morning, looking out over Megunticook Lake with a house full of family I love, weather that feels like an October day in Indiana and wondering if yesterday actually happened. Much like saying goodbye to Sam, I had to say goodbye to yesterday in the late afternoon. Just like not having him to hold, I no longer have Caroline to hug and Joan to stare at.
Joan is Maeve’s Mama. (I call her Mae girl). We met online approximately two months after Sam was born sleeping. It was so early in our grief journey that I clung to Joan and what she would so openly share about her grief. I would stare at pictures of her, John and Maeve online and cry over her the absense of her beautiful red head. I would text Joan, and still do, in my weakest moments wondering if maybe she’s ever felt the same. I love Joan.
Caroline, is Maeve Kathleen’s Mama. Caroline was introduced to me shortly after her girl was born last December. Any time I talked to Caroline I just knew I was sharing with someone who loves purely and genuinely. I could tell having not met her, but later confirmed when I did, that she’s a Mama Bear. A real one. I’ve been drawn to her from the beginning looking for her girl in our foggy days in Indiana. I love Caroline.
The thing that’s so magical about spending time with loss Moms is that they get it. They really get it. And we’re able to talk about our babies like Mamas who mother living children. The conversation freely flows from our babies to other things and that’s what life is supposed to be like.
We discussed yesterday how we so greatly crave moments like that in the ‘normal’ world. Instead our babies are often conversation stoppers. But the more I sit and think this morning the more I realize how much I dislike that we live in a world where the death of our child halts communication and welcomes an unwelcomed tilt of the head and an I’m so sorry you poor thing stare.
All we really desire is acceptance of the lives our babies did have and the willingness to converse with us about them. It’s allows them to remain alive. It’s how we continue to live.
I was able to meet Joan for lunch on Thursday before driving to Acadia yesterday to be with everyone else. Ted asked me if there were any awkward moments because it’s the first time I had met her face to face. I laughed because the answer was absolutely no. I’ve shared my life with Joan and women like her so much over the last year and meeting them confirms that these are the women who are my best friends.
I shared with my Mom that I didn’t realize you can really love someone from afar without ever meeting them before I was introduced to the online community of loss Moms. I’d venture to say that these women are the most beautiful women that exist. Loss touches us but doesn’t define us; love does.
We said goodbye yesterday with tears in our eyes and an embrace that was so hard to let go of. I walked away having a flashback to the moment I said goodbye to Sam. My heart feeling a heavy joy because I had the opportunity to experience life with them in person.
Ted and I started the walk through Bar Harbor back to the car and I looked up. The girl in walking in front of me was clothed in elephants. I am here. I could hear Sam say. You are not alone. We are a family of three.
He’s always here. Mae girl, Sam and Maeve are here. I can see them. I can experience life with them. And I always will.