sharing your stories and remembering your children
When I lost my first baby to miscarriage, I had a deep fear that the world would forget my baby. I wanted my baby to be known, to be seen, to be loved.
I resolved that I would carry on the memory of my baby and save a space for this child as part of our little family. I was desperate for this child to have a space.
We decided to call our first baby Baby, as that is what we had called the child for more than two months. I decided that I would mark Baby’s due date with a single purple rose each year. This would be a part of our family tradition, even if and when we had living children. I also had carved out space for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and the loss date. I had many plans so that we wouldn’t forget Baby.
Then we lost another baby, and another. The ceremonies were getting harder to juggle and seemingly less necessary. Then suddenly, after three losses and two live births, I couldn’t keep straight due dates, birth dates, and loss dates. My four year old has hardly heard me talk about our first three children and I haven’t bought a single purple rose in a few years.
It would be easy to feel like I have failed them.
But I haven’t failed them at all. What I realize now, seven years after my first loss, is that I will never forget these children. These ceremonial acts were very helpful as I navigated the early days of grief, but I have found a less demanding and rigorous routine that helps heal my soul in this season of life.
The memory activities are less scheduled and more free-flowing now. I might purchase purple roses randomly or visit the memory box on accident while cleaning and organizing the bedroom. But this doesn’t mean these children don’t hold a real space in our lives.
Instead, they are integrated into my life, much like my living children. I think of them often, not only on their “birthdays.” My fondness never fades and their reality never goes away. Even when I forget the flowers.
Emily Carrington is a freelance writer, wife, mother, and founder of the EPLA.