I went to the cemetery yesterday. My aunt was in town and she was unable to attend Mabel’s services so I brought her to Mabel’s grave. When we arrived I noticed that someone had placed some flowers at her marker. We go to see Mabel every Saturday and leave her flowers. This weekend we were away and so missed our usual outing. We each have a picture of her marker on our phones so we looked at them on Saturday. And then yesterday I walk up to her grave and see someone had thought of her too. I’m unsure who it was -feel free to take credit if it was you! What a nice thing to walk up to. Not too many people know where her grave is- it could have been some of my local family, the one friend I’ve shown or someone from far away who sent flowers? Or it could have been a stranger. Someone visiting their loved one’s grave who saw a new marker of a baby with week-old flowers beside it? Well whoever you are, family, friend or stranger, thank you. It’s a kind hearted thing to bring my baby flowers.
We walked around the cemetery for a bit and looked at other graves. I was seeing what others have done to adorn graves- some small gardens, some ornaments, some flowers. I also found some graves of some babies as well. Just two headstones over lies a baby. I held back tears as we found more little ones throughout the cemetery. It’s a comforting thing to know that Mabel has friends.
I went to a local support group last night too. I had been to two other meetings with this group, but this one was different. There were more people and I felt comforted there. We stayed over the end time and all hugged when we left. It’s a group for people who have had pregnancy or neonatal loss. All the stories are different, but it’s amazing how many of the same feelings and experiences are present. The stories I heard are the stories of others, so they are not for me to share. The most memorable moment for me was when another woman heard my story and realized that she had read my blog. And hearing her talk, I realized I had read her story too. It’s a beautiful thing to put a face to a story.
Today I got a massage and the place I go is right next to both a Carter’s and Motherhood store. I have been there once since I buried my daughter, but I guess I had forgotten. The massage therapist said I looked tired and I responded that it had been a rough couple of months. The therapist was a new one and as he held my chart he said, “So you just had a baby?” After I confirmed and he congratulated me, I lay down and all during the massage I couldn’t stop thinking about whether I should have told him my baby died. It’s a sad thing to be constantly reminded of what I’ve lost.
Driving home, I was listening to one of my audiobooks (yes, I’m a big nerd)- one about a high school kid on a rowing team. The narrator described his feeling after losing a race. When you are so close to something that you can practically taste it, you want that something more than ever. It becomes all you can think about, all you desire. It’s a validating thing to hear my feelings verbalized.