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

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Story of Ben

I make the mistake, all too frequently, of thinking that Ben's story belongs only to me. Yes, I cling to it, to him, possessively, a mother bear ready to fight for her cub. I think that he is solely mine because I carried him in my womb, because he spent all of his life, his living, within me. I want him to be all mine because I have so little to show he was ever here.

There are other stories of his life and death that I forget. His father's story. His grandparents' and aunts', uncles', cousins' stories. His brother's and sister's stories.

All of these stories are incomplete, just like mine, but no less valid, no less real. I was reminded this morning of that reality by James, who cried in bed as I prodded him to get up, get ready for school. "I miss my brother," he said, as a tear rolled down his cheek. And while I don't think he was crying because he misses the brother who lived and died before he came to be, I could only think of how different our lives would be had Ben lived. That James and Charlotte will have their own stories to tell one day of how they think their lives changed because one of us is gone.

I want Ben's story to be mine only, because I am selfish, because I miss him, because I am his mother. But all of us lost something the day he died. All of us, whether we acknowledge it or not.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sedona Grief Retreat

This retreat has me wishing I still lived in the U.S. for many reasons. One of them is Kara Jones, aka Mother Henna.....she is an awesome creative, bereaved mother, teacher, coach and all-around cool person. She, as well as the amazing Joanne Cacciatore, bereaved mother, professor, and founder of the MISS Foundation, are putting on a grief retreat in beautiful Sedona, Arizona on October 15th, which Infant Loss & Remembrance Day.

This retreat is open to anyone grieving a loss and not limited to infant bereavement. I would love to go and learn from these wise women, not to mention spend a weekend in Sedona--my husband and I traveled there for a wedding anniversary many years ago and I would love to get back to the breathtaking scenery and wide-open skies we found there.

If you're able to attend, I'd love to hear about it afterwards.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

May Your Love Bring Us Love

There is nothing I can say about the events of 10 years ago that someone else hasn't said better, with more wisdom, more insight. When I remember that day, I think of the silence, after the towers fell, stepping outside on a beautiful, glorious September day, and there were no cars moving past, no airplanes flying overhead, no schoolchildren calling.

Only silence.

And today I give you Bruce Springsteen singing a song from his 9/11 album, The Rising, Into the Fire.

Well the sky was falling and streaked with blood
I heard you calling me, then you disappeared into dust
Up the stairs, into the fire
Up the stairs, into the fire
I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher
Somewhere up the stairs, into the fire

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love bring us love

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cleveland, OH Fundraising Concert

Until 5 weeks ago, I was a resident of a Cleveland suburb, and I met Norine Tuck-Ringwalt, also a suburban Cleveland mom, as a volunteer for the Star Legacy Foundation. Norine lost her daughter Areila this past May. Unfortunately we never had a chance to meet in real life, but only know one another through the wonders of the internet.

Norine has organized a concert this Sunday, September 11th, to benefit the foundation, at Brother's Lounge, 11609 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm.

If you can, please attend. It's a long flight for me, but I will be there in spirit. For more information, go here. And thanks.