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loss, and love

April 16th, 2013 | 3 Comments »

Loss is everywhere right now, as the country reels from the horror at yesterday’s Boston Marathon, but the loss I’m going to talk to you about today is much, much closer to home.

Five years ago I never would have imagined that the phrase ‘Every friend I have right now I have because of Twitter’ would ever fall from my lips. But it’s true. I’ve made a wealth of amazing friendships from the art of 140 characters.

In the past few months I’ve been blessed to be included in a small group of women who meet regularly during the month to just converse and hang out and support one another. From all walks of life we come, all ages and stages. Many of these women I’ve already known for some time and others I’m only just beginning to make a part of my life. Samantha is one of the latter; a friend I’ve never met, but nonetheless, someone I’d go to bat for in a heartbeat. It’s been a tremendous joy to me to watch her excitement grow as she and her husband Jason were expecting their first baby this month.

And last Tuesday, for circumstances we’ll never know or understand, their daughter Alice’s heart stopped beating. Sam realized the baby wasn’t moving for many hours, and in a moment that changed their lives forever, they found out that she was gone. A week ago, as I sat enjoying my day off, my phone rang as my friend Mary called me. And here’s the thing; these days, my friends and I don’t do a lot of calling. We text. When the phone rings with one of their names, my heart tends to stop because it usually means something isn’t right. The moment I heard Mary’s voice, small and scared on the other end, the bottom dropped out. The baby was gone. Sam was going to be induced and the ladies in our group needed to know, to pray, to set in motion a support network for this sweet couple who’s own families are half a continent away on the East Coast. Alice Christine was stillborn early Wednesday morning, April 9, 2013.

I can’t even comprehend how Sam and Jason are feeling. In 2004, I was diagnosed as infertile, unable to have the babies that Mike and I dreamed about when we married. There is no pain more significant and acute than that of a dream that is torn from you. It renders you in two, a gaping wound that never heals completely. Nine years later and I still can dissolve in tears at the loss, and I think of how old our babies could have been, how would we parent them, what our lives would be like. I think of what their names might have been. I think about how they might look. At times it’s unbearable. Still. Your heart is torn in a way that very few can understand.

The worst part is trying to live in a world that expects you to ‘get over it’; to carry a wound that can’t be seen. To not have words for the pain in your heart, only tears. To have others change the subject when it’s brought up because they aren’t comfortable with the fact that you still hurt. That it still matters nine years later. I ache for this pain that Sam and Jason will carry for the rest of their lives. Even with the sorrow I have in my own loss, it pales in comparison to being so close to holding your child, to have a beautiful nursery set up for her, ready to accept this change in their lives, their willingness for every step of parenthood. I ache for the moments that their tears will come, and the times that others won’t understand why. I ache for every birthday ahead that Alice isn’t here to blow out candles and smear cake on her hands. There is no more incomprehensible pain than that of missing someone you’ve never had the chance to even meet.

At times like this, the most powerful words anyone can say are “What can I do?”

Friends, you can do something, if the spirit moves you. As Mary wrote in her site:

A collective of friends {and strangers} have put together a website where you can shop various goods that were donated in-kind, and all of the proceeds will go directly to Sam and Jason to cover their unexpected costs {including medical bills, funeral expenses, and travel} with any funds exceeding their needs being donated to the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep organization.”

Mary, her husband Matt and a few of the other ladies in our group have worked endlessly to put this site together, to gather donations and goods. There is a small shop and also a place to donate money to support Sam and Jason. All the money goes directly to them. Every penny.

Please….. go visit Alice Was Here.


And please… when tears come, and you don’t understand, it’s ok that you don’t know another’s pain.
Envelop them in a warm embrace and just be there for them. 
Listen if they speak of it, or even if they can’t. But please. Just be there for them. 

3 responses to “loss, and love”

  1. […] Originally posted at https://kateinthekitchen.com/2013/04/16/loss-and-love/#more-7911 […]

  2. samara says:

    Sending love and prayers to them. And to you. A loss unimaginable. I am so very sorry.

  3. Mellissa says:

    A hard post to read but so incredibly true. Sending love to them and donating what I can. Hugs to you and I know they are incredibly thankful to have you in their life for support.