Death can be a difficult subject to talk about. It’s painful, unpleasant, emotional and hard. No one likes unhappy endings or tragic good-byes.
But, when death becomes a part of your life, it’s a hard subject to avoid. Loss changes us. In the beginning it certainly makes life more unpleasant, causes constant emotional turmoil and significant pain, but with time, the grief experience evolves. We find gratitude, meaning and love for our loss. We never “get over it.” We adapt.
We carry our loss.
While others find it difficult or awkward to ask us about our loss (which we excuse because they are just trying to be supportive and polite), we secretly want people to ask us about our special dead person — to help us remember him or honor her life.
Talking about death.
Sharing our stories of loss.
Connecting with others who share our stories.
Helps us heal!
That’s why we’re sharing stories of loss from members of the moveTHRU community so that we can collectively honor our loved ones and move through grief together. Loss can feel lonely, but you are not alone in your grief.
In honor of National Bereaved Mother’s (May 3) and Mother’s Day (May 13), we are sharing a story about a childless mother from our friend Lindsey.
Lindsey lost her unborn baby at 38 weeks. She went through labor and delivery, but when she returned home from the hospital, she didn’t have her baby.
She was a mom with no child to bring home.
Sometimes we forget that loss can occur before life. And that loss is just as painful as losing someone in the flesh. Read Lindsey’s story below to find out how she endured this tragedy to find more meaning in life and eventually got back to enjoying Mother’s Day!
Lindsey and her husband see their baby Everlee for the first and last time.
September 17, 2018 was one of the hardest, but sweetest moments in our life — the moment we saw our daughter Everlee for the first and last time. She was 6lbs 8oz and as our first born, Everlee made us parents.
My pregnancy was uneventful and healthy. We were nervous and excited to become parents and preparing as most parents do — the nursery set up and car seat installed. I was 38 weeks pregnant and thinking we could have her at any moment. Then, one Saturday, I told my husband that I hadn’t felt her kick lately.
During the hospital tour weeks earlier, I vividly remembered the nurse telling us that if we didn’t feel the baby move, to come in. So, we went into the hospital that night. But, we didn’t expect to hear the silence. The nurse looked for the heartbeat and then said she would have the on-call doctor there within minutes. I looked at my husband concerned but thought it would all be ok. When the doctor came in he confirmed that Everlee did not have a heartbeat.
I was in shock. How could I have just been to the doctor and everything checked out perfectly?
Two days later I gave birth to our first child. An autopsy showed that Everlee had an umbilical cord accident. Her cord had “kinked” and acutely cut off her blood and oxygen.
Our bodies are so amazing and the process of growing life is so complex, how could something so small like a “kink” take it all away?
After losing Everlee I was in disbelief. Coming home as a “mom” and recovering like all mom’s do, but not having a baby to hold is something I don’t wish on anyone. For several months I was numb, just going through the motions. We had so much love and support around us, but that didn’t take away the pain. I couldn’t make sense of WHY this would happen. The hardest part for me was trying to overcome the devastation.
Being in some of my old friend groups that all had kids or were expecting children was very difficult — actually suffocating to be around. They didn’t understand the pain I felt and of course couldn’t relate no matter how hard they tried.
The way I overcame my heavy grief was to connect to others who had lost children. I found comfort relating to others who had walked the same hard road. I also MOVED my body. It was my therapy and the only way to clear my mind. I had to start off by just walking, but then I progressed into yoga, cycle and running. I could feel the weight of the grief lift as I exercised. As I MOVED I felt like I could start to take on the day.
I met Emily through Rush Cycle and was able to attend the moveTHRU workouts. This helped me see there were others out there needing movement to express all the emotions that come with grief and loss. It was like a great therapy session with the added benefit of exercise.
The loss of my daughter impacts me every day. When people want me to overcome grief or “move on” I know she will always be with me! I am a different person because of her. I think about her every day.
So much of her story has so much light!
I have been able to see how precious life is.
I have been able to relate to others on a deeper level who grieve.
I have become more spiritual and able put things in perspective.
Everlee has taught me so much. She’s given me purpose, strength, the ability to be vulnerable and helped me grow.
Although some days are easier than others, I wish that I had her here and I could hold her close. I wish that I could experience all the “first” parent moments with her and watch her grow up into a beautiful girl inside and out. I feel like I’ve lost out on these moments with her.
Mother’s Day always brings out these “what if’s”. My arms ache more on Mother’s Day wishing I could have her — a living child — here. But in the end, she has taught me so much and given me so many gifts. I am forever grateful for her. She has allowed me to celebrate Mother’s Day…even though it may not look like it on the outside.