Monday, January 28, 2013

Finding community

Grief as a mother is isolating. I've mentioned before it's a taboo. Because we don't want that to exist. There are very few support groups for parents like me. Being in the birth world the resources available, at least from my point of view, seem to be abundant for mothers who lose babies in their womb, or newborns, or infants. But an almost 3 year old? Another taboo.

It's further isolating that my son wasn't murdered. He was killed. He was killed legally by another human being. It was legal because this person wasn't out to kill, this person just didn't care. I'd like to believe that seeing justice brings solace for mother's who have lost children in preventable ways, but it doesn't. It's like a knife to the back for me that my child wasn't worth justice, that my child's life was less vaulable than his killer's.

At the same time, the mothers who have lost children, of any age, at any point, have brought me the greatest comfort. They know this kind of grief, they know these kind of depths, this devastation. I'm so alone in this, yet I'm not. I know I have community, mothers who have lost like I have, women who have walked with families who have lost like I have, loving me in thoughts and prayers many without ever saying anything.

The  mother's who have lost of reached out with the tenderest of care, holding me, comforting me in the ways only they know, watching, witnessing as I try to put my broken pieces back together. They have said the kindest things and given the best advice telling me that they chose to live without regret after loss. Or sharing what previsions their beliefs have in place for the parents of lost children. Or just reminding me it's ok that I don't let go of his blood caked clothes because they haven't either. They have sat with me, held their hearts open for me, and been raw and honest about their experience even though it reopens their wounds.

Those who have been there, without expectation, those who have lost and those who have not lost, who have simply chosen to be my witness, to be my guiding lights, they are my community. They are not afraid of this taboo, they are not afraid to see and hold this unchangeable breakable part of living. They are the reason I know I'll be ok. 


  1. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for putting out there, these words, which must be so painful for you type, think, and live. I hope you know that you are helping every person that reads this in some way or another. Because of you, more parents are more vigilant than they were previously, more drivers are aware of what could be around that corner, children are safer because of you, because of Bram.

    You don't know me but you and Bram have touched my life in ways you can never know. I think of you often, my heart aches for you, and I wish you peace.

  2. I saw your post at Mothering, I've been following ever since. I've told my husband about Beam, and my children. My eyes well up every time I visit this blog. My heart aches for you too, I constantly feel things like how unfair it is. I cannot even begin to imagine...

  3. I too, am reading your posts, feeling into your broken heart, broken body trying ceaselessly to get a breath of air, life, respite. I lost my child, a death at birth, and my womb that same day. I know hell and dark nights, and I know I lost a whole year of life while I fumbled around in the dark looking for a way out, or through. My grandmother sent her son out to the store on his bike one day and he was killed by a drunk driver. I watched her mourn Douglas EACH DAY of her life until her death when the only thing that calmed her was talk of seeing her son again. Sure- with time you learn to live with the hell, but it never goes away.

    I read your post over at Mothering (which is how I found this blog)- with all the stuff on the Mothering boards- there is nothing for this type of loss, nothing for stillbirth, infant loss, child loss. I've written them numerous times, urging them to deal with it. Nothing. Your words in this post reminded me of how it is, to the very core, taboo. Shame on Mothering.

    Bram, today and always, I am remembering you from my tiny life here in VT. I have told my children about you and your family, I have told my friends. I am sad beyond words that you are not at this moment wrapped in your mama's arms like you are in her heart.


Thanks for reading and loving Bram!