Death has been on my mind a lot since last November. The news of James' death renewed a sadness that I sometimes foolishly think I'm just about over and for the first time, I began to think that maybe the one good thing that comes out of so much is pain is the ability to better understand why other people hurt so much.
I've been reading a book called "Naming the Child" by Jenny Schroedel. It deals with the gradual healing process after miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death. Many of the things I'm reading apply to the loss of anyone we've loved. I've learned that it's good to keep saying the name, to keep the person alive in your heart and to validate that they were real and they changed us.
Through the book, I've learned about an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. Through this program, parents of stillborn infants can have photos taken in those last moments as a way to preserve their memory. When I read about this organization, I realized my own need to get involved.
I've experienced the joy of bringing new life into the world, but I have also experienced the grief of losing it - something I wasn't expecting or preparing for. In the aftermath, I understand now how losing someone, whether a baby whose existence was only known for a few short minutes or a partner who has been your rock and stronghold and closest friend, can throw your world into a whirlwind where keeping your feet on the ground feels like a laughable impossibility.
Maybe this is how I heal. Maybe this is how I say goodbye. Helping other people do the same.