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Baby's Birthday After Loss

birthday difficult emotions journaling surviving Sep 19, 2020
Baby's Birthday after Loss

When you think about your baby’s birthday, how do you feel?  You may have a whole list of emotions such as:

  • Heartbroken
  • Angry
  • Sad
  • Frustrated
  • Numb
  • Confused
  • Anxious
  • Disbelief
  • Disorganized
  • Regretful
  • Guilty
  • Overwhelmed

In the days leading up to our daughter Anna's first birthday a different kind of sadness sunk deep into my soul.  It was mainly of disbelief that a year of heartache and sadness had passed.

I was back to crying over everything.  I was quick to blame my husband for trivial things he had no control over.  Simply put, I was a wreck.

I wanted to honor Anna’s life but lacked energy and ideas.  My husband, son, and I decided to keep things simple and sat down at the kitchen island writing birthday messages on small pieces of paper. 

Then, I took the messages to the floral department at our local grocery store.  After selecting three shades of pink balloons, the messages were inserted and the balloons filled.

We drove to our favorite local county park.  Standing in a wide open field, we shared thoughts about the first year without Anna before releasing our birthday wishes to her in heaven.

There was something peaceful about watching the three pink balloons gently carried by the wind.  Somehow, we all new Anna was looking down at us and we were going to be OK.

As we drove home, I remember feeling a sense of relief.  I had survived the first year.  It was not pretty.  In fact, it was downright messy.  I still have moments when I reflect back and cringe. 

Anna’s fourth birthday will be on Wednesday, September 23.  The pain never goes completely away.  But my relationship to the pain with space, time, and tenderness towards myself has shifted my response to losing her and allowed me to heal.

In the short time Anna was here, she taught me to live more in the present moment, a gift I will always associate with her beautiful life.

In what ways has your baby blessed your life?  Have you found ways to honor him or her? 

There are no right or wrong answers, nor are there any expectations.  It is simply about attending to your feelings and needs to support your grieving journey to a place of comfort once again.

Feeling lost, overwhelmed, or alone?

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