Today the photo suggestion is “scent.” This was the hardest suggestion for me so far. I can still smell Sadie’s skin and hair. I still smell the hospital air. I seldom go there mentally, it hurts too much. So instead, for today’s photo, I am sharing a picture that one of my Facebook friends shared on their wall. When we got pregnant with Sadie, I already had 12 healthy nieces and nephews. While I knew people here or there that had experienced child or pregnancy loss, I had no idea it could happen to me. After Sadie died, I was told of these statistics below. ONE in FOUR! I had no idea before Sadie died how many women were silently grieving and I vowed to give us a voice. One of the ways I do that is through this organization in our precious daughter’s name. In an effort to give credit where credit is due, it looks like this photo was originally posted by a group called “Pregnancy After Miscarriage & Pregnancy Loss.”
Mine and Lee’s families have always been wonderful support since we found out Sadie was a Little Person mid-pregnancy, through her brief life, her death and the founding and continuing of The Sadie Rose Foundation. Through it all, we’ve always known we could count on them (and their spouses) to be there for us. This photo is of me with my mom and my brothers and sisters. I also want to specifically thank my Aunt Edie and my cousin Loni who have been such great support as well as such great help to The Sadie Rose Foundation. I’m thankful for my dad, who has been there in his own unique way. Our church family and other friends have been wonderful too, as well as fellow bereaved parents we’ve connected with. SO thankful to be surrounded by so much love!We are better people because of the loved ones in our lives and the Sadie Rose Foundation exists because these people (and many others) help make it happen.
A friend photographed this rose in her grandmother’s garden for our non-profit logo. There are many things that remind me of our little Sadie; dragonflies, butterflies, soaring birds, stars, but there is something about a rose that makes me feel most connected.
Day 9: Special Place: There is no place more peaceful to me than being in the mountains and riding horses. I feel so close to God and to Sadie when I am afforded those special moments. Nature is a sanctuary for my otherwise broken heart and busy life, the unconditional friendship of horse (and dog) a healing balm for my wounded spirit.
These two necklaces are so special to me. The small heart has Sadie’s name and date of birth/death on it. My mom gave it to me for Christmas a few years ago. Every year, mom gets me something special with Sadie’s name engraved or written on it. I know that among all her 26 grandchildren, two of which have passed away, she remembers our sweet Sadie. There is no better Christmas gift to this mother than to remember my baby with me. The second necklace was given to me by a dear sweet friend who has had three of her own babies die. The necklace is special, but knowing the pain and sacrifice behind the gift makes it priceless.
Sometimes I am left speechless at what people say. Other times, it is all I can do to restrain what I call “the spirit of slap” that consumes me when said instances occur. I wrote the following a few short months after our sweet Sadie Rose died…
Losing a child at whatever age in whatever circumstances is tragic for parents. As mourning families struggle to understand what just happened, well-meaning caring people say things in an effort to bring comfort. Sometimes, even if what they are saying is true, it’s hard for parents to hear. This poem was written in response to those cliches that can sometimes hurt more than heal. Yes we believe we will be reunited with our child, yes we believe she’s pain-free, but as humans, we long for the tangible; that which we can physically embrace, touch, smell and hear.
DON’T TELL ME!
By Regina Rose Cyzick Harlow
Don’t tell me everything happens for a reason
Don’t tell me this is just a season
Don’t look at me and raise your eyes and tell me that you know
That God takes care of everything because He loves us so
Don’t shrug your shoulders in my face and tell me “God knows best”
Don’t comfort me by saying my baby’s found eternal rest
I’d rather hold my baby girl and feel her flesh and blood
To smell her breath upon my face and feel her baby hugs
I’d rather kiss her tender cheeks and comb her baby hair
Than cling to idealistic dreams of knowing her “over there”
I wish her cries would wake me when I desperately needed sleep
I wish a smelly diaper meant I’d get to wash her sheets.
I’d love to feel her on my breast and hear her baby sigh
Oh God I cannot take this pain, why did she have to die
I’ll never hear her footsteps as she patters down the hall
She’ll never learn to ride a bike or play with baby dolls
She’ll never call me mommy or sing her ABC’s
She’ll never get to help me decorate the Christmas tree
So before you in all your wisdom tell me how to deal with grief
Just close your mouth and walk away and give me some relief
I know you want to help me and you don’t know what to say
But hugs, and tears, and smiles are best, when my heart feels this way.
Sadie’s stone has the Sadie Rose Foundation rose on the front and the name of the organization and our Scripture verse on the back. I love her stone, I love her place of rest, but it is so hard to spend time there. A cold hard tombstone cannot warm my mother’s heart or fill my empty arms. However, I am overcome with gratitude and love when I do visit, because someone regularly places flowers on her grave. It means so much to know that others are remembering our precious baby with us. To read a poem I wrote about how her siblings have learned to know Sadie around this tombstone, click here.
Day 4 ~ Capture Your Grief 2012 ~ Most Treasured Item: This one was hard for me. We have so few things that actually belonged to Sadie, but I keep all her things in a little box and those times where I need to “hold her,” I open her box. Those teeny tiny diapers and blood pressure cuffs get me every time. Again, to participate in this event or to view more pictures, visit CarlyMarie’s Facebook Event.
Today’s “Capture Your Grief Project” photo suggestion was a photo after loss. I realized I have few photos of myself the year after Sadie died, so this is me lighting a candle in her memory at one of our Sadie Rose Foundation candlelight ceremonies. This photo is Day 3 for the Capture Your Grief Project 2012, initiated by CarlyMarie Project Heal. You are welcome to participate in this event too, even if you’ve missed the first few days. To see pictures from other participants, see Carly’s Facebook Event.