Ah, 2008. Behold the new year as it sparkles and shines. I have a lot of hope for this year. We've had a rough couple of years on this road to parenthood. In so many other ways, we have been incredibly blessed, but this one area of our life tends to be all-consuming.
2006 had been probably the worst year of my life, starting with my grandmother passing away on January 1, 2006. A few weeks later we were thrilled when we found out that we were unexpectedly pregnant . . . and then devastated when we lost our baby shortly thereafter. We then suffered four more losses in 2006, culminating with the death of Gummy Bear in December 2006.
I was a wreck for the weeks following my D&C. I honestly don't know how I got through it. Well, actually, I have a pretty good idea. My husband was my rock. Not one to publicly display his emotions, especially grief, he searched online, found a support group and took me to it. He even told our story when my voice got lost in my tears. He bought me a beautiful silver heart necklace with a tear cut from it to wear in memory of our lost angels. He went to three bookstores to find a book on miscarriage and grief. He hugged me when I cried and pulled me up so many times when the sadness literally brought me to my knees And on New Year's Eve, he came up with the most beautiful idea of all. He suggested that we write letters to our babies, put them in a balloon, and release them at a beautiful park overlooking the water.
One of the hardest aspects of miscarriage for me has always been the lack of closure. There is no memorial service, no obituary, no social rite of passage to say good-bye Not only are you robbed of your baby, your hopes and dreams, you are robbed of the right to a ceremonial farewell. This was our memorial service for our angels. We each wrote letters and then put them in a red balloon with white hearts on it. We walked to the edge of this beautiful park and with tears in our eyes, released the balloon together. It bobbed along, moving upwards until it was a speck. And then, it vanished. My husband said it was as if heaven had opened up the door and snatched it inside for the babies. It was absolutely beautiful. My husband then said that we should make this a New Year's tradition and write a letter to our angels every year, letting go of the sadness of the previous year and opening our hearts to the hope of the coming one.
My husband had to work until after dark yesterday, so we are going to continue our tradition today. For me, this has so much symbolism. My grief didn't end that day, but it was a turning point for me. I was able to look toward the future again and start dreaming of the day when we would bring our living children with us to release a balloon, sharing our hopes and dreams as a family. That day isn't quite here, but I have a feeling that it so close.