Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Worst Welcome Letter Ever

by Megan Coker

Dearest Mama,

I don’t want you here.
I love you, but I don’t want us to have met.

I love you so much and I don’t want you in my club.

You’ll hear it referred to as that often- a club, and the crappiest club ever.
(Child loss, that is.)

And that is exactly what it feels like sometimes… a club that houses the only people who “get” you.

But you are kind and good, just like so many of us. You don’t deserve this any more than any of us do. No one deserves this. So when it comes to this I don’t want to be able to get you and I don’t want you to be able to get me.

You have invited me into a sacred place. You have asked me to witness your hello and your goodbye. You are allowing me to say hello and goodbye to your baby too. You have welcomed me into your life and given me the blessing of your friendship.

I am honored. I will take those priceless photographs. I will hold your hand. I will love your baby and mourn her with you.

But I wish I couldn’t do any of that. I wish you weren’t joining the club.

Since you are, and since I love you… I must welcome you.

This is my first time. But my arms are open.

I will cry with you and yell with you. I will lie quietly in your bed with you. I will take walks for fresh air with you. I will smile with you and laugh with you. I will help you talk about your memories with this daughter. I will never forget her name.

The rest of the world will still see you. You won’t be invisible. They will still love you. They will still love her. This month they’re all raising awareness for us- awareness of too many incomplete earthly families. We’re one in four, you know. That’s a lot. They know that’s a lot. But there isn’t much they can do. So instead they’re all rallying behind us. They’re funding research for our babes. They’re loving on us and being reminded to pray for us. The world is trying. This month, times around our babies’ births and deaths, holidays, and other occasions… they are aware.

But mama, you and me? We will always, always, always be aware.
There will never be a moment that we are not completely aware.
Our club membership card will slap us in the faces as we wake up from the minutes of sleep after exhausting days and nights full of performing our club duties:
and none of it will bring our children back to our arms.
So all in all, life in the club is not very rewarding.

You can’t get back out of our group. I’m so sorry. Our daughters will never come back to us here. Your girl and my Eden are together and away from us. We might as well be together too until we can meet them both in Heaven. Only other people in our club will understand you best, anyway.

And sometimes, we might not even understand you. Sometimes, we will miss the mark with you. I know it happens to me. It is such a lonely path to take, one that none of us would choose and one that all of us struggle down. So, while we might not always understand, we will always be gentle with your heart.

The dues for membership are way too damn high.
We won’t ask much from you besides that you help us remember and love our babies and extend us the same grace too.

Once in our club, you will experience a change in how you view the outside world. Feelings might include:

etcetera, etcetera.

Please know that these feelings are normal, no matter how alienated you are made to feel for them.

The lives of the people around you are going to go on. And though you’ll be glad for them, that will be so painful.

You will watch babies be born, engagements, weddings, new achievements all around you and wonder how your life could come to a complete halt while everyone else’s continues down a happy trail.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter will all still happen without our babies here. What a cruel thought: we will endure our children’s milestones without them.
We will endure them together. I’m just sorry that we must.

I want to save you from this. I want to save your baby. But I can’t.
I want to tell you that it will be alright. But it won’t.
I want to tell you that the pain goes away. But from what I can gather, it doesn’t.

All I can tell you is that I will be here. And I know that some days you will not even want me here. That’s okay too. I will always give you as little or as much space as you need in the moment.

With your fellow club members, you can be real. You can tell us of your jealousy, guilt, anger, and fear. We will never judge you for any of it. You will find that we’ve also been jealous, guilty, angry, and afraid.

We are here. We are always aware of you. We know your pain. And we will love you every day of the year.

I hope that you feel the warmth of the arms of every grieving mother. I pray that our support will shine on your face like the sun. You are welcome here. You are safe here.

With Love,

Eden’s Mama
~ ~ ~

Megan carried Eden Olivia to birth in June 2015 after receiving a diagnosis of a severe Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia in the Bilateral form. Eden lived for 40 minutes. Megan is Ryan’s wife and together they follow his Army career. She has found a way to honor Eden’s short life in capturing the beautiful moments of others through starting her photography business, Eden’s Garden Images. Each day has its new challenges for both Megan and Ryan but they are learning to lean on each other through it and work steadily on strengthening their marriage. Megan finds healing through writing about Eden and remembering their beautiful time together.


Lee said...

Thank you Megan for writing & sharing this. As I lay here with tears in my eyes it sucks to say but it helps to know that there are other mothers out there who are waking up & surviving day by day. Our son Reuben died in January 2014 at 1week of age due to complications of a traumatic birth. I pray all our angel babies are playing happily together & we will one day be able to hold them once again, to feel complete once again. Sending comfort to all those mothers & fathers who are a part of this group.

Lee said...

Thank you Megan for writing & sharing this letter. It is just what I needed to read as I lay on my lounge with tears in my eyes. Our son Reuben gained his angel wings at 1week of age in early 2014 due to complications of a traumatic birth. It sucks to say myself, my husband & many others are a part of this group but it is comforting to know we are not alone. I pray all our angel babies have found each other & are playing happily while they wait for us on the other side. Sending all parents of angel babies comfort as we face another day without our child/children. <3

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