Sunday, July 17, 2011


Dear Readers,
I am currently participating in a 4-week online photography class, called 'Illuminate,' put on by the wonderful Beryl of Be Young Photography. It's a class specifically designed for babyloss moms, and so far I'm totally loving it. Beryl is going to be doing another Illuminate class in August, and I definitely recommend signing up if you're looking for a unique way to both process your grief and develop a new skill/passion. Anyway, I thought I would share my first assignment for the class (a self-portrait) here, so here ya go! -Kristin

Dear Stevie,
I’ve written countless letters to you over the last year and a half. Letters filled with nervousness, excitement, and unbelievable joy during the six months we had together. Letters filled with questions, anger, and incredible sadness during the weeks right after you died. And, during the last few months, letters containing a mix of pretty much every other emotion you can think of–happiness, sorrow, yearning, shame, silliness, weakness, thankfulness, jealousy, confusion, renewed strength, and even a little bit of hope thrown in the mix.
When I think of where and who I am today, I realize I can’t boil it down to one word. Or even close. These days, my state of being changes so often, sometimes I go to bed feeling like I’ve got a serious case of whiplash. In one 24-hour period, I can experience such a wide range of emotions–sometimes even at the same time. I can be totally happy, in a great mood, then I see a little girl with curly hair and big blue eyes and my heart stops. I’m sad. Then I get a funny text from a friend or one of my dogs does something silly, and I’m laughing. Then someone at work asks me when we’re going to ‘start having kids,’ and I’m super uncomfortable, that sinking feeling in my chest. One day I feel like going out all night and having fun. The next, I just want to lay in bed and watch crap on Netflix all afternoon. You just never know.
I guess I’m learning to live with the unpredictableness (is that even a word?) of my new life. The craziness that comes with losing a child. I’m learning that it’s okay to enjoy the happy feelings, and ride out the crappy ones. To not try and force myself into feeling a certain way, but to really, truly ‘live’ in each moment, each emotion, as it comes. To just be.
So this is me. Happy, sad, goofy, sexy, bored, crazy, pissed off, just alright. Me.
Stevie’s Mama.
I love you, sweet girl. Forever and always.


Nika M. said...

I saw her class on here a few months ago, but I haven't had time for one. Maybe the one in August, if things get better. :-)

Tiffany said...

love the portrait and the letter. it was so great to meet you last week. i'm so privileged to know you in person now. sending you lots of love and ((hugs))

Tiffany said...

Learning to live with the unpredictability is right on. I have all but given up trying to figure out how something is going to make me feel or react.

Cute pics!

Becky said...

Love the self-portrait!
I agree with the wide range of emotions. I find it crazy how one minute I can be happy and laughing and the next I am crying and sad and then 5 minutes later I am back to happy. Just this weekend a beautiful sunset made me cry because I was thinking about how Liam should be here seeing this with me. You just never know what's going to bring on the sadness or anger.
Great letter to Stevie

Deanna said...

what a beautiful post. I love the photos. it is so true, and every feeling is completely ok. I am so glad to know you.

PS glad to hear this course is awesome {not that I was doubting it}, because Beryl so generously offered a spot in the August session for my online auction :)

Devan @ Unspoken Grief ™ said...

Kristin I love this post - love the photos. The emotions we ride can be draining - learning and realizing that is ok is what gets me through :)

Anonymous said...

What a great project! And by the way- I'm pretty sure that I just saw you on House Hunters....w/ your BIL & SIL....

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