Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Right Where I Am Project: 1 Year and 3 weeks

Dear Stevie,
Wow, I think this is the longest I've ever gone without writing to you. Almost an entire month. Granted, this last month has been uncharacteristically crazy. Your first birthday. Mother's Day. A big event I've been working on at work. One Grandma's death, after a long, drawn-out decline in health. Then the other Grandma, quite unexpectedly. Six days in Puerto Rico with the girls. Dad getting laid off from his job. Now, an awful, nasty cold that won't seem to go away. Still, even with all that's been going on, there isn't a day, no, not even a moment, where you aren't on my mind. Sometimes you're way back there, barely even noticeable. Other times, you're front and center, controlling my every thought, my mood, my state of being. But you're always there.

I love Angie's idea of describing where we are in our grief journey, right here, right now. First of all, because I am loving catching up with my old blog friends, and second of all, because I really needed an excuse (really, a big kick in the ass) to reconnect with this space, this part of my life, you.

So, where am I today? One year and three weeks from the day you died?

It feels like I'm in the exact same place as I was one year and three weeks ago. Still not pregnant (and it seems like I'm literally the only one out there that's not these days!). Still not sure I'll ever be. Or want to be for that matter. Still restless. Still angry, though not as bitter. Still sad, though better at burying it. Still trying to appreciate my life for what it is, still convinced it will never be quite as good as it could have been.

I'm right back to where I was last summer. Only this time, I feel even more alone than ever before.

Last summer, I immersed myself in this world where everyone understood. Everyone felt the same way. We were all so united in our grief. It was so fresh and so raw. And that was good, that was "okay," even by the rest of the world's, the "outsider's" perspective. I had this secret world I could escape to whenever I needed to feel normal.

But that's all changed. And it's no one's fault. I'm not angry about it. It just is what it is.

I feel like there is this trajectory a babyloss mom is supposed to follow: lose baby, grieve really, really hard for three to five months, start trying to get pregnant again, get pregnant again with three to five cycles, find healing and acceptance through this new life, this new rainbow of hope. It's a beautiful story. But what happens when you stray from this path? What happens when there is no new hope? What if instead there's only disapointment, confusion, questions, and unrest? How does this all come full-circle when no rainbow appears after the storm?

I guess I'm trying to learn (and accept) that maybe some of our "rainbows" come in different forms. Yesterday I got an approval letter from the IRS, stating that Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope is now an official 501(c)(3) national public charity. My dream of starting my own nonprofit in your name, coming true--is that a rainbow in my sky? Being forced to let go of the silly idea that I have any sort of real control over what happens in my life, and learn to live in the now and go with the flow--does that count? Discovering this enormous supply of strength and self-confidence inside myself that I never even knew was there--if I search my sky hard enough, I think I can see some colors peaking out from behind the clouds.

I have to believe that for me, my "rainbow" is not a new baby, but a new me.

I love you, Stevie. I can't imagine a day ever going by without me wondering who you'd be, what you'd be like, had you not died one year and three weeks ago.

Missing you,


Deanna said...

congratulations, Kristin on becoming non-profit. I remember the day River's Rally received that letter. I remember the feelings, the joy and tears that came along with opening that envelope. thinking of you, Stevie and grateful to have gotten to know you. (((hugs))

Stephanie said...

It is so hard to be on a different path. But know that even when we veer away from others in our experiences, that the lives you have touched will never change.

I can't imagine how you are feeling, but I want you to know that what you have done with Faces has and will continue to help others. It is an amazing ~ AMAZING gift and tribute to Stevie, and I hope that your path brings you blessing upon blessing.

Becky said...

What a beautiful letter! And congratulations on the Faces of Loss becoming non-profit, I think it is such a wonderful site!
Thinking of you and Stevie...

Julie said...

you are definitely not the only one not pregnant. my last post, before my "right where i am" post, was about how alone i feel in this state of NOT being pregnant. so proud of you for all you've accomplished with faces of loss. stevie has a momma to be proud of!

Emily said...

And hey, sometimes the 'rainbow' pregnancy doesn't end up so great either. Today I've offically had ruptured membranes for one day longer than I did with Aidan. Will the story end any differently? Nobody knows! But, stay tuned, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel. (old Batman show reference in case you didn't get it).

Valarie said...


Do you have a private email where I can write you? Mine is I have been wanting to write you for a long time...


still life angie said...

Congratulations on FOLFOH's non-profit status. That is amazing. And I love the idea that a rainbow can be a new you. That is an important and deep revelation. I found the place in my own timeline where you are right now to be incredibly difficult. Even though I was pregnant at the time, I felt out of step with everyone and everything--babylost, my old life, my new life, my marriage. I started still life 365 right at that time because I wanted to get out of my head. Anyway, thank you for sharing right where you are. Much love to you. xo

Caroline said...

A Huge Yay for FOLFOH !!!
You are a very amazing lady & Momma.
What a beautiful letter too.
Take care :)

Farfromtheshore said...

Congrats on FOLFOH! It really has really helped me in my grieving process, I even submitted my angel's story. Stevie must be so proud of her mama!

Angie said...

A brand new you is a wonderful rainbow. I'm so proud of you for making your dream of earning the non-profit status for Faces come true. Stevie is a very lucky little girl.

I'm so sorry about all the stress and sadness this past month has brought to you and your family. I hope this summer is a great one for you xo

LauraJane said...

Congrats on the Non-profit, that's an amazing accomplishment.
Such a difficult time in your life, I'm sure. I pray your rainbow, in whatever form it comes, does so soon.

butterflymom said...

This is so beautiful, Kristin. After I just finished my post of "Where I am Now", I read yours and was like...."She said it better." And "She gets me." I see so much of what you wrote in the way I feel a lot of the time. Thank you for writing it and touching my heart. Congrats to you on all of your successes. I'm so proud of you...and I'm sure Stevie is too. ((hugs))

MamaE said...

A new you. Love it. Beautifully written post. Wonderful news for you. Keep up the good work.

Hanen said...

Hi Kristin, just found you via Angie. I'm so sorry. Stevie is one of my favourite names. I've had to re-adjust my whole definition of a 'rainbow' too - I couldn't just treat this part of my life as a waiting period before I got pregnant again - I had to find a meaning here and now. I'm in awe of your work starting up Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope - well done.

Hope's Mama said...

Congratulations with all you've achieved with FOLFOH. You are an inspiration to so many in this broken-hearted community.
Was so glad to see you'd taken part in this project. It really is bringing out all of my favourite bloggers.
Missing Stevie always.

CourtneyAnna said...

Congrats on the approval! It makes me so happy for you! Thanks again for all you do!

Anonymous said...

I have to believe that for me, my "rainbow" is not a new baby, but a new me.

Beautiful post. The loneliness really hit me at one year out. Like Elizabeth McCracken wrote "grief lasts longer than sympathy." It's so hard.

B. Wilson said...

Yep, you said it all so amazing.

6 months here and no butterfly/rainbow/hope.

You've accomplished a ton! I've just managed to pee on a lot of sticks and have my heart broken month after month. Still trying to find something that makes me happy unrelated to ttc. It's a battle. I used to be so happy and full of life. Just trying to find out how to do that again. I feel like a child learning to walk.

Dana said...

A beautiful letter. I've been thinking alot lately about the lack of control I actually have too. Like you said, it seems like almost everyone we got to know last year around this time is pregnant or has had a rainbow baby. I was convinced I would have another baby before Jacob's first birthday, but here I am in the minority of those who do not. Accepting the lack of control is important.

Congratulations of FOLFOH and I'm sorry for the tough month you've had.

Brooke said...

This is a beautiful tribute to Stevie. I hope that your rainbow in all of this is a new you and, eventually, a new baby, too. Best of luck with all your new beginnings.

Anonymous said...

Glad your back! Thanks for pointing out that there are rainbows to be found in life without babies. I too am not pregnant, though it feels like so many other of my BLM friends are. You are in my thoughts.

Melissa said...

I'm not prego going to Lisa and John's wedding? I look forward to meeting you there.

I feel much the same. :-/

Good to "hear" from you.

Anonymous said...

First, thank you for FOLFOH. It really was a God send when my son first died.

Second, taking a different path then the "norm" is scary some times, but that's the point isn't it? Trying to get where you are going isn't always fun or easy or the same as everyone else.

The road less traveled?

erica said...

I'm so grateful you participated in the Right Where I Am posts, especially because it's so valuable to hear from someone who hasn't traveled the more common path, but also because you write so well and powerfully.

"I have to believe that for me, my "rainbow" is not a new baby, but a new me." - Wow.

Thinking of you and Stevie, and grateful for all you've done in her name.

Holly said...

So wonderful Faces of Loss has got the nonprofit status! Yay!!

It does seem the path you described is one that is followed often but not everyone goes that way and it can feel isolating to those who haven't gone the way many others have.

Fireflyforever said...

I'm visiting from Angie's project. Thank you for all that you do with FOLFOH - it is a wonderful, wonderful resource/comfort/ support.


I have to believe that for me, my "rainbow" is not a new baby, but a new me.

really struck me. So profound and such a challenge.

Catherine W said...

You've done such an amazing, amazing thing with Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. I wish that such a resource had been available when I lost my daughter, I'm sure it must bring comfort to so many at a very, very lonely and heartbreaking time in their lives. If that is to be one of your rainbows, it is a beautiful one indeed.

Remembering your precious little girl, Stevie xo

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