By: Amy Lied
Five years since I said hello to my firstborn child.
Five years since I said goodbye to that same child.
Five years since I last held my son.
Five years since a part of me died.
February 19, 2022 will be five years since Asher was born.
Five feels huge. Half a decade of living with the grief of losing my son and yet still a lifetime to go.
A lot has changed over these five years. I’ve changed a lot, of which I’ve previously written. Our family has grown by twin little girls. They are now full blown three-nagers and we are so grateful for every little bit of sass they give us (even though in the moment, it’s a bit obnoxious).
While myself and my family have grown over these last five years, one thing has remained unchanged….
Asher is still missing.
We have incorporated Asher into our lives in every way we can. My husband and I wear rings with his birthstone so he is always with us. We hold his photo in family pictures to show his very real place in our family. We sign his name to cards. We have built a legacy for our son by donating Comfort Cubs in Asher’s memory to our local hospital for bereaved parents. We started an organization with our bereaved besties to help other loss families.
We have done all we can to ensure Asher is never forgotten and that he remains a presence in our lives.
However, all of that doesn’t take away the fact that Asher’s physical presence is always missing.
There should be a 5-year-old in our home, who isn’t here.
We should be thinking about kindergarten in the fall, but we aren’t.
Five years in and the ache to hold our son is just as devastating now as it was five years ago.
We lost so much more than a pregnancy when Asher was stillborn.
We lost our very much longed for first child.
We lost a lifetime…his lifetime.
The weight of that fact is always there.
Over the past five years I have gotten better at carrying that weight. It’s just as heavy as it was 5 years ago, but my grief muscles are stronger now and better able to hold up the weight without struggling. (The irony of that fact isn’t lost on me, seeing as I’m someone who does not work out.)
However, there are days where my grief muscles get tired, I can’t hold the weight up anymore and it crushes me, the loss crushes me. Five years in, those days aren’t as frequent as they once were, but they still happen.
At five years into living life after loss, I am unbelievably proud of my son and the good he has done in this world through us. I also miss him with every fiber of my being. I’ve accepted the fact that my life will continue to be a dichotomy of grief and joy, always loving and always missing my firstborn.
Happy 5th birthday, Asher Ray!
You are loved.
You are missed.
You are remembered.
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.