By: Amy Lied
Growing up, my next door neighbors were an elderly couple who were a bit like surrogate grandparents to my brother and me. They would take us out to breakfast on snow days from school and have us over to play cards all the time. In their home, they had a piano that fascinated me. I had always wanted to learn how to play it. During one of our visits, I was taught how to play “The First Noel.” That song stuck with me and whenever I would see a piano I would play it. I had mentioned on multiple occasions to my husband, that at some point in our lives, I would love to have a piano in our home and learn how to play it. It was always a fleeting idea, one of those “eventually,” “if only,” kind of ideas.
After Asher was born still, we returned home from the hospital to a home that felt so very lonely. We both found that we couldn’t return to our “normal” lives. We couldn’t bring ourselves to watch our usual television shows. I couldn’t go back to my normal hobby of crocheting and my husband couldn’t go back to his of playing video games. It felt like if we went back to our “normal” lives, it would be like Asher never happened, like he was never even born.
We needed a change because we were changed.
While I was on my maternity leave (without my baby), I needed a project to fill my days and my usual time fillers were no longer acceptable as they were too “normal.” I became focused on finishing the office in our home. I painted the room and completely redecorated it. I had grand ideas of putting in a reading nook. I was ready to go out and buy the bookshelves when my husband cautioned me against it. He asked that I wait until the new floors were installed before I went out to get anything else for the room.
The day the floors were to be installed, the doorbell rang. Instead of the floor installer, it was a delivery. I saw a man walking in with a small wooden bench and I thought it was an end table.
But then I saw it, a piano, being wheeled off the truck.
A piano purchased for me by my husband and our families.
A piano to fit perfectly in the newly designed office.
A piano to give me a new hobby because I couldn’t go back to my “before” life.
A piano that I had always dreamed of owning, but never actually expected to.
A piano that existed in my home because my son did too, if only briefly.
After that day, I had a new hobby, teaching myself how to play the piano. I sat there and worked my way through my “teach yourself piano” book and gradually branched out to finding other songs I’ve always wanted to play.
It is my “Asher” hobby. It is because of him that I have it. Sure, one could think it is because he DIED that I have this piano, but I prefer to think that it is because he LIVED that we have it.
The piano, in some small way, is proof of his life. It is a change to our life because of Asher’s existence in this world.
Learning how to play the piano helped me cope with the pain of losing Asher. It kept me busy and focused all the while still thinking of my boy. Recently, I haven’t been able to play as often as I would like, but when I do, I always think of him. During the moments that I am really missing him, I will sit down to play (and sing) a song for my sweet Asher Ray.
After losing a child, it’s hard to find things that will bring you joy. Truthfully the thought of experiencing any happiness after the death of your child makes you feel guilty. However, I encourage you to find something that does exactly that while also making you feel close to your child. It will do wonders for your broken heart.
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.