Thursday, August 16, 2018

Until Our Last Breath

You may remember me writing about sweet baby Ryleigh Grace, who was stillborn at 38 weeks. Yesterday, August 15th, was her 2nd birthday.

Her mommy, Kristen, and I were good friends in high-school. Her firstborn was actually born on the exact same day as Lily! - March 16, 2010, and is now a healthy and thriving 8-year-old. Then her second baby was stillborn, giving us yet another thing we have in common.

Anyways, this summer, Kristen had her rainbow baby, another beautiful little girl. Her heart is still heavy with grief over the loss of Ryleigh. In many ways, I imagine having another baby is a reminder of all that was missed with the one who was lost. Kristen's experience proves that babies are not interchangeable and just because you have another doesn't mean you stop missing and longing for the baby who should've been here to grow.

I texted Kristen yesterday on Ryleigh's special day and told her they were both on my mind. Kristen responded that Ryleigh is on her mind every day, which I feel captures so much in so few words... even when the rest of the world "moves on," even when we think of other's babies who were lost on the day of their birth (hopefully if you know someone who has lost you do), we must remember that they remember and miss their beloved child EVERY SINGLE DAY! Another baby doesn't "fix" anything. Yes, another baby can heal and fill empty arms in a unique and beautiful way, but they will never erase the pain of what happened and what should have been.

It reminds me of this touching thing a bereaved mother put in her paper, which I first saw shared on Facebook a while back. I know I'll feel the same after 70 years. Our babies remain in our hearts and minds FOREVER, until our last breath.


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