Every year, 26,000 babies are stillborn in America. In 2003, one of them was my son.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

For Now, Farewell

I've put off writing this post for weeks, unsure of what to say. Because I'm not saying "goodbye" as I am saying, I'm moving on from here, but into what, I don't know.

We moved to the UK nearly seven months ago and are still adjusting, all of us. That takes a lot out of a person and I am no exception. We'll be moving into another home in July, though I don't know where, or when, exactly. My children need me in a way they haven't before: they need more reassurance, more hugs and kisses, more time. I am trying to decide what to be when I grow up: I need a job for my own sense of self, my sanity, not to mention that a paycheck would be, well, helpful.

So that is where I am: figuring it out, hoping, unsure. I've so valued this safe space where I could come to talk about Ben, for as we who journey in this land of broken hearts know too well, those safe spaces are few and far between. I hope I've helped, for that was my intention in writing here: to help those who come after me, to reassure them that they will survive this, even though it doesn't feel possible. Even though it will take years to believe.

I'm not leaving the stillbirth community, though I don't yet know how my future participation in it will shape up. I'll let you know. In the meantime, please, if you want to keep in touch, send me an email (it's up there in the right hand corner) and I'll be there. I'm also on Facebook and Twitter, but again, email me and I'll tell you how to find me.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. Thank you for letting me remember my son, and allowing me to get to know your babies too.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Eight Years Without You

Every year since 2003, at 11:34 am on the 30th of December, I have looked at the clock and thought, "And now I knew." Ben was gone but the long process of labor and delivery loomed, phoning my husband to tell him the terrible news, alerting families and friends.

In the space of a moment, a life changed, a life ended. A lifetime of things not done, words not said, plans and hopes and memories never made.

Eight years. Unimaginable that anyone can live that long without something--someone--so important. But live you do, because there is no other choice.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Grateful for those who aren't afraid to say his name. (Ben.)

Grateful for those who try to understand that he is still my son, that I miss him every moment of every day. Grateful for those who realize I miss all the things that could have been. Grateful for those who understand you don't "move on" but you incorporate the grief into your life.

Grateful to those who aren't afraid to tell me they remember him and can only imagine how much it hurts.

Grateful that he is not, just yet, forgotten.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

End-of-Year Charity Requests

One request comes from the MISS Foundation, with this:

"2011 has been a tremendous year of growth for the MISS Foundation. A new board of directors, a new executive director, a new national office, a new accounting system, new database, new interns, new policies, new procedures, new volunteers, and sadly, and most importantly many, many, many new MISS Families needing support after the death of their beloved child....

The MISS Foundation serves these families and thousands of other bereaved families around the world without the help of federal funding or grants. The MISS Foundation is able to care for its families from individual and corporate donations. Not unlike many nonprofits in this depressed economy, donations have not kept pace with the need for services, so much so, that in 2012 some of our programs are at risk of being discontinued because of the extreme lack of funding. We desperately need your help!  Remember: No one does what we do to help families facing infant and child death: counseling, advocacy, research, education, and support. 

In the spirit of holiday giving, gratitude, and loving precious children gone too soon, please help save MISS Foundation programs and consider a $100, a $50 or a $20 donation. Every dollar helps the MISS Foundation save families, families like yours, on the most unthinkable journey...

We can’t save every child. Please help us save their families…"

*Donations can be made online here.

Another funding request comes from Big Buddha films, which is working on an independent film about a couple who lose three children. The trailer is powerful and a bit heartbreaking. Imagine something like this being screened at one of the big film festivals, like Sundance. For more info, see here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Say His Name


That's all. Just Ben. It's not hard. It won't hurt to say, it won't hurt for me to hear. It will be sweet, in fact, to hear you say his name for what may be the first time ever. (How can you not say his name to me? He was a real child, after all.)


That's all.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

For Thanksgiving, a Poem

Because I am thankful for, among many, many other things, poetry, I give you this, by Mary Oliver.
Morning Poem 
Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches ---
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead ---
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging ---

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted ---

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Still Life 365 Spoken Word Blog Round Up

Angie, over at Still Life With Circles, suggested this blog round up of videos. I'm a bit late chiming in, but better late than never.