By: Amy Lied
The other day I was wearing a Share t-shirt from one of our local chapter’s Walks to Remember that we attended. It’s been worn quite frequently in recent weeks. Since I’ve been working from home, all my t-shirts have become my new work attire, and I’m not mad about it.
While sitting on the sofa, Harper climbed into my lap and sat facing me. She pointed to the Share logo on my shirt which is two hands, one on top of the other, and she said “Asher’s hand”. I said “yeah?”. Then she pointed again and said “Mama’s hand”.
Tears sprang to my eyes.
Here is this 22-month-old child pointing at a shirt that, I only have because of her brother and the loss of him, saying his name, and making a connection between him and her mama. It just took my breath away.
I have no idea what even caused her to make the connection because I have never told her anything about the shirt or Asher’s connection to it before. Yet here she was, looking at it and thinking of her brother.
My heart burst with happiness, plus a side of sadness. I was so happy that she thought of her brother without prompting, that she said his name (which she does quick frequently and every time it brings me joy). I was also so sad that she will never get to meet him. That she and her sister have a sibling they will never get to grow up with.
This is parenting after loss.
It’s a delicate dance of gratitude for the children you get to raise and longing for the one(s) that you don’t.
It’s simple moments that can take your breath away.
It’s wonderful and it’s painful.
I know as my girls continue to grow they will start to ask questions about Asher and why he isn’t with us. Questions I know I won’t fully be able to answer because I don’t know why he isn’t here. Nothing about those moments will be wonderful. They will only be painful; a painful reminder of how unfair life is.
So…for now, I am going to relish in the moments that bring me joy with a twinge of sadness; moments where our beautiful little girls say their brother’s name, where they carry his bear around but struggle to do so because of the 4 lbs. 13 ozs. that it weighs, all the moments where their brother is incorporated into their lives without the complication of explaining his absence to them.
About Amy Lied
Amy Lied is a wife and a mother. Her son, Asher, was inexplicably born still on February 19th, 2017. Before losing Asher, she suffered a miscarriage and struggled with unexplained infertility. After losing Asher and struggling to conceive again, she went back to treatment where she became pregnant with her twin daughters; Harper and Scarlett. She has documented her journey from the beginning of her infertility struggles on her blog, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags. She is also a co-founder of The Lucky Anchor Project, an online resource for loss families that houses an Etsy store whose profits are donated to loss family non-profit organizations. Sharing her journey has helped her cope and she hopes it also helps others who are walking on this road of life after loss.