Thursday, November 6, 2014


by Alex Hopper

“This is how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life, and you’ve survived. This is
what it means to be be loved and to know that the promise was when everything fell, we’d be held.”
Held by Natalie Grant

You wake up, for half a second you believe it was all a nightmare. You do a sanity check.
You look at your baby’s name tattooed on your wrist, or see their picture on your phone,
or reach to feel your no-longer-pregnant belly. You remember. You remember every
detail that led to where you are today, waking up with no child. You will yourself out
of bed. On the days you can get away with it, you do the bare minimum. On the days
you can’t, you do your best to look presentable. You pass your baby’s empty room on
the way downstairs. Some days you look. Some days you open the door, and do another
sanity check. Check the crib, bassinet, and stroller, half expecting, fully hoping, to see
your sweet baby sleepy peacefully, but they are never there. Some days you simply stare
at the floor and pretend that room doesn’t exist. You make your way out into the world.
Suddenly you are just another person getting your coffee, heading to work, sitting in
traffic. But there is no “baby on board” or stick figure family on your back window.
Instead, there is a magnet that has your child’s name written over angel wings. Once you
get to work, you do your best to be sociable and do your job well. You work hard, and try
not to look too sad when you pass the baby section or the customer with a newborn. You
laugh with your co-workers, you look so normal sometimes.

After work, you head home to a dark house. You turn on the television to cover up the
deafening silence. You spend time with your spouse and stay up as late as possible. When
it’s time for bed, you lie down, but know that sleep won’t come easily. Your mind begins
to re-play everything that led up to your loss. You relive the entire thing. Some nights it
is all sadness, other nights it is the happy memories too, but it is always on your mind,
until you finally drift off to sleep. If you’re lucky, your dreams will be sweet and you
may even see your baby. Some nights there will be nightmares. You will wake up, and
wish it was all just a nightmare. You will do your sanity check, see the tattoo on your
foot, and remember the reality.

This is how it feels when your precious child dies. When everything that was beautiful in
your world is ripped away, and somehow you’ve managed to live through it. Sometimes
you will wish you hadn’t survived, because this new world, without your baby, is just
too much to bear. But you will keep on living. As much as you want to be in the place
of no pain, you’ve made a promise. A promise to your spouse, to never leave each other.
A promise to your baby, to keep living, in honor of them. To live a life that would make
your baby proud.

You will survive. You will continue on. When you feel you can’t carry on, allow yourself
to just be held, by the only One who can.
~ ~ ~

Alex Hopper is a writer in North Carolina. She is married to her beloved, Trent, and mommy to her angel, Cyrus. Cyrus was diagnosis with a fatal birth defect in the womb at 12 weeks. He was carried with love until he was born at 33 weeks on November 25, 2013. He lived for 1 hour and 9 minutes. His life was short, but his legacy lives on.


Missing Mikayla said...

This....Wow. Yes. This is what it is to live when your baby has died. Thank you for sharing these words and helping me see I am not alone in these feelings.

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