Wednesday, June 28, 2017
As I was at the cemetery tonight, hoping to not accidently get locked in, I kissed my daughter's headstone and caught a glimpse of the birthday candle we left on the top earlier this month. It's been nine years- Nine years since that fateful day, nine years since I held my daughter in my arms, nine years since I've seen her face, nine years since I've stroked her hair, nine years since I held those tiny fingers. Nine years. Nine years later I still get teary having to leave my daughter, my baby, in a cemetery.
The woman I was on June 4th, 2008 is nowhere to be found. She died with her child. Instead, this woman was born in her place. I was thrust into a role that no mother wants to find herself in. That role became a vital part of my identity. For a time, my role as a bereaved mother consumed my life. I had to grieve and find the strength to fight for my child because I was the only voice she had. Many hoped that I would fade off into the distance, and I did for a time, but I still held that voice because I'm her mother.
Looking at life now, I still have posters tell me they remember her story and share the ways that it helped them whether it was after their child passed or those who chose to change birth plans. Some remember things I've written that impacted them in some way. It humbles me to know that my daughter has made a difference in this world. I remember being threatened into being quiet, and I did it for a little while, but, I overcame these homebirth bullies.
Somehow, I've made it this far. How it happened can only be attributed to the loving family and friends that I have. As I drove away from that cemetery, I cried that I was the one that should have been in the ground, I'd trade places with her in a second. I wish I could say it gets easier, but I really think we're usually numb to the pain of leaving our child where they don't belong. After this, I'm reminded of everything GOOD that has come out of this HORRIBLE situation. Sometimes, you just need to know that she mattered, her story matters, and sharing your pain can help to bring about something positive for someone else- like watching their child grow up. I need to be reminded that she didn't die in vain.
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