My friend is participating in a project for the Pregnancy After Loss Support group. Similar to what we did in October, there’s a prompt for a daily topic this week. It’s meant to express the joy and fear of having another child after losing so much. She’s expecting her third child this month. Nineteen months after losing her daughter.
Today’s topic: Courageous Mama. And I know she doesn’t think that’s true. But it is. For so very many reasons. And not just because she’s chosen to have another child, although I think that takes a hell of a lot of courage after losing your daughter. Other moms read too much in the books and are afraid of what can happen. But for us it happened. It’s a rational, real fear. Choosing to find joy in life while forever grieving the loss of your child is not easy task. And she went back into the fire to hold my hand through our journey. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to open yourself to another mom who is in so much pain. You rip open wounds. You relive the worst moments of your life. But she sees the beauty–the purpose– in that pain. And she does it over and over again.
But it’s more than that. It takes courage to jump in without hesitation to loving a child you know you’ll lose. It takes strength to carry a child knowing at any moment their heart could cease to beat. Walking into the hospital to deliver your child—not knowing if they will take a breath in this world or not. And loving, without any reservation, knowing your heart will inevitably be ripped apart. And I know she did this, the same as we did for Zoey.
Sure there are things we wish we could have done with our daughters—a lifetime full of missing them. But that’s not the same as regret. And my bet is there are people that will someday look back and regret reserving any of the love they could have shared for our little ones. But I do not. It is a choice. You can choose to love completely–to dive head first, all in or you can choose to reserve your heart.
Fear can hold you back from so many things. It could have kept us from loving our daughters completely. But it didn’t. Loving without hesitation. Loving her every single moment with every fiber of your being. Preparing ourselves to love instead of to lose. No regrets. Courage.