Honor Your Loss

We honored our loss with... "Landan."

Since I can remember I have honored my losses through holding onto fond memories or, through tattoos of transition and pain, because behind all pain is love.

When we lost our first baby I was not prepared for the emotions and pain that followed. For a long time I naively thought those emotions would go away, eventually.

Learning that our baby had three copies of a chromosome rather than the normal two ("trisomy") which is what led to their halted development and their stopped heart, allowed me to accept that maybe God did have a plan -and maybe nurturing a child with trisomy wasn't meant for us. Nonetheless when you love a child you love all of them, regardless of the science ("chemical" pregnancy, early miscarriage, trisomy, etc.).

It took a really long time for me to realize that: -that I had truly, from my spirit, loved our child. I loved all of them with all of me -and that didn't go away because they died.

We say "miscarriage" as if the fact of the matter is not that a child died.

My child died. 

And if you're reading this maybe your child died, too

And that love, the love I felt was a mother's love and it would never go away.  

The pain would also never go away.

I wrote this in my journal the weeks following my miscarriage: "If my heart hurts because of loving you, then the pain is worth feeling."

I remember the day of my D&C surgery when I woke from the anesthesia I asked the nurses to be allowed to pray over my baby. They seemed somewhat taken aback but quickly left the room and returned with what they referred to as my "specimen."

While visiting my counselor recently, I explained to her an epiphany I'd had that gave me peace in knowing that the pain of my loss would never leave me because the love for my child would never leave me.

And she said, "you need to honor your loss."

For so long I had been hearing "you need to mourn your loss" and this was the first time I'd heard the words honor and loss coupled together so beautifully.

Years ago when John and I first began dating we shared the stories behind our most frequent used passwords. Mine was a lost pet and John's password was Landan.

Landan was a name he liked that he started using as a password years before he met me. Having a common name like John, he always liked Landan. I thought it was the cutest story he'd ever told me and I embraced the name.

As our relationship grew, eventually we began speaking of our future and referring to any child/children as Landan. In the midst of naming our son (due 12/2019) we of course first thought of Landan and also John Landan but, something about using Landan didn't feel right.

And so... the name Landan was left unused and it just so happened to perfectly fit our first child.

That night following my counseling appointment we agreed that Landan was the way in which we would honor our first child -by giving him/her the name we had so long talked and dreamed of.  

How have you honored your loss?