Netflix and Grieve

When we came home without Dorothy, our first place of retreat was the couch.  We sat down on and immediately turned on the tv.   Neither of us said a word as we fixed our eyes forward and waited for that familiar red screen with the white lettering.  Mike then turned to me and said the…

The Language of PAIL (Pregnancy And Infant Loss)

I have always wanted to be bilingual.  In high school, I studied French and while my grades were excellent, my teenage ambition did not extend beyond my workbook pages.  C'est la vie. Now, almost three years after my first miscarriage, I find myself fluent in a language that does not easily translate.  It is not…

Unwrapping Joy and Heartache

It is our second Christmas without Dorothy.  The second year in a row where I find myself alternating between belting out Christmas songs with an almost-convincing bravado and staring at the twinkle lights as they blur through my tear-filled eyes.  A subsequent year of loneliness and "what-ifs" and pretending to the be the last 5…

How to Survive the Holidays–An "Alternative" Guide For Grievers

The holidays are here and you are feeling less than jolly.  I get it. You are exhausted from participating in the pageantry of the season while trying to carry your heart that is heavy with grief.  It feels unfair that you have to work so hard at self-care and demonstrating kindness just to keep yourself…

During The Holiday Season, Grief And Gratitude Can Sit At The Same Table

I get it.  Thanksgiving and the holidays bring in the time of year when I'm supposed to focus on what I have and not on what I want.  Instead, of hoping for more I am encouraged to be grateful with what is already present. No, thank you. Everyday I encounter people who believe that I…

My Stillborn Baby Still Has A Birth Story

On February 22, 2016 our daughter, Dorothy Grace Helena Whalen was stillborn.  This is a continuation of her story. When I transferred to the Intensive Care Unit, everything came with me--large plastic bags stuffed with clothing, haphazardly stacked books and magazines, a jumble of flower arrangements.  All of this traveled on a large, noisy cart as I was rushed from labor…

My Baby Died, Please Don’t Let Me Die Too

On February 22, 2016 our daughter, Dorothy Grace Helena Whalen was stillborn.  This is the continuation of her story. The shock and devastation of losing Dorothy had numbed me.  No longer was I aware of the experience of my own body.  I knew Dorothy was gone, that she had died, but I was not yet aware of how sick…