Sunday, March 23, 2014

An Open Letter to My Child

During my last session with Bonita she recommended that I write a letter to the baby I lost. She wanted me to write about all of the things I wanted and wished for the baby.  She believed it would help me release some of the grief I have over the loss.  I agreed because Bonita has a tendency to have wonderful ideas, and for this I am truly grateful.  It has taken me a long time to get this letter written, partially because I didn't know where to even start and partially because I needed to keep stepping away from it in order to maintain clarity.  Here goes...

My dearest angel,

In the beginning of December 2013 it hit me like a ton of bricks that this would have been your first Christmas.  When I think of all of the wonders you would have experienced and all of the love that would have been showered upon you, it breaks my heart all over again.    

It seems strange to me at times that I feel such loss and heartache when I only had you in my womb for a few precious weeks.  Those weeks were filled with fear and anxiety that quickly turned into love and hope for your future.  It seems like too short of a time period to fall in love with anyone, but I guess when it’s with your own child there is no such thing as too short of a time period.   I think about what you would have looked like, been like, and felt like in my arms.  What would your little personality have been like?  Would you have my sarcasm?  Would you have the same curious mind that I do?  Would you have been compassionate, intuitive, kind and caring?  Would you have been creative, logical or a combination of the two? Would I have been the mother you deserved?  So many questions, all of which I will never be able to answer because you are gone and I am left with a huge hole in my heart.

I want you to know that, even though the circumstances were not ideal, I wanted you so very much.  I wanted to be your mom more than anything in the world.  I thought about all of the things I wanted for you and all of the things I would have taught you.  I would show you how beautiful the world could be, even when life seems less than perfect.  I would show you the possibilities that exist at every turn life takes.  I would help you explore not just your corner of the world, but the world as a whole.  I would pass on to you all that my parents passed on to me and so much more.  I would tell you about how your grandparents met and how they filled our home with unconditional love, kindness, respect and laughter.  I would make sure you knew what a truly wonderful, honorable and simply good man that your grandfather was and how he saved your grandmother, auntie and me so many years ago.  I would teach you that, even when life knocks you down in the worst ways, the will to survive is in your blood.  I would make sure you understood that even though we may not always get along or like each other, no matter what, you would always have my unconditional love and support.  I would teach you to pay forward the kindness, love and generosity that you receive in your life because somewhere there is someone who needs something good to happen to them today.  I would teach you to have love and respect for all people and animals.   I would give you a strong foundation from which you could grow into your own person, confident in your talents, abilities and in who you are.

How do I even begin to express what’s going on inside? My heart breaks because you’re not here with me. My heart breaks because I can’t hold you, cradle you in my arms, protect you, and sing you to sleep the way your grandmother and great-grandmother sang to me.   “Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral (An Irish Lullaby)” by James Royce Shannon was a favorite, as was “A Little Bit of Heaven” by Earnest Ball.

“Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral (An Irish Lullaby)”

Over In Killarney,
Many years ago,
My Mother sang a song to me
In tones so sweet and low;
Just a simple little ditty,
In her good old Irish way,
And I'd give the world to hear her sing
That song of hers today.
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Hush now don't you cry!
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, That's an Irish lullaby

“A Little Bit of Heaven”

Have you ever heard the story of
How Ireland got its name
Well, I'll tell you so you'll understand
From whence old Ireland came
It’s no wonder that I love
That dear old land across the sea
For here's the way my dear old Mother
Told the tale to me...

Shure, a little bit of heaven fell
From out the sky one day
And it nestled on the ocean
In a spot so far away
And when the angels found it
Shure, it looked so sweet and fair
They said, "Suppose we leave it
For it looks so peaceful there"

So they sprinkled it with stardust
Just to make the shamrocks grow
‘Tis the only place you'll find them
No matter where you go
Then they dotted it with silver
To make its lakes so grand
And when they had it finished
Shure, they called it Ireland!

I would have sung these songs to you every night, my sweet angel.  They would have become an indelible mark on your childhood, just as they were on mine.  I hoped that you would have been able to look back on them with love and be able to sing them to your children one day. 

My dearest angel, I would have delighted in teaching you the power and beauty of words. Words have the power to create nations.  They have the power to bring about great change.  They have the power to heal all manner of wounds.  Words are life.  They are oxygen.  They live, breathe and they are the reason for being.  Each day that you learned a new word would be a day in which you learned more about what it means to be alive.  

My angel, being your mom would have been my greatest joy.  You will always be in my heart and my soul. You will always be a part of me.  Thank you for giving me the gift of your presence inside my womb for those all too short weeks.  It was one of the greatest gifts of my life.


“I’ll love you forever.  I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”