Sunday, March 06, 2005

Pictures of you

Several of the brave women from SPALS have written to let me know how much "Julian's Room" has meant to them and how they have been touched by our little boy. I am constantly moved by the women I have met who have experienced their own tragic losses, yet are able to provide support and encouragement, even in the face of their own grief. It means so much to me that there are complete strangers out there who want to hear what I have to say and enjoy looking at pictures of Julian. It fills my heart to know that his life had meaning to those outside our inner circle.

This has been an emotional week for Robert and me, as I think we are experiencing a cumulative effect of our daily battles with grief. In addition to remembering and mourning the loss of our son, our hearts feel heavy with sadness for the hundreds of parents we have met (in person or via internet) and the stories they have shared about their dearly missed babies.

Neither of us ever expected to be inhabiting a world full of dead babies; we were supposed to be playing with our two month old healthy living baby boy right now, blissfully ignorant of this quiet community that we are now a part of. As hard as it is, we realize how important it is to tell our story, to listen to others' stories, and to look at images of others' babies who have passed away.

Friends and strangers alike have thanked us for sharing Julian with them through images and writing. It made me realize what a privilege it is for me to be able to look at a photo of someone else's baby who died. Parents of living children get to show off pictures of their babies at various stages, but people rarely ask parents in our situation to see pictures of our babies. Most of the time, it's because they don't want to upset us, but I have a feeling it's because some people feel it's too morbid. Pregnancy and infant loss is a taboo topic that often goes unacknowledged, leaving parents feeling that they don't matter, their child didn't matter, and that they can no longer share the joys that accompany pregnancy and parenthood like "normal" people. I hope our experience can help to educate others about these issues.

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