The jealousy that I don’t get to say my son’s name like the mothers of living children has ebbed… just in time for the holidays.  I saw a post discussing how we’re keeping our lost children near and got to think about all the lovely ways Atticus is near my heart and my head.

First, I need to tell you that I was at a holiday party this past weekend and the conversation broke so a woman could tell me that Atticus was hanging out over my right shoulder. While I don’t tend to think in that particular sphere, it is also hard for me to believe that life ends with death. It was comforting to hear that someone saw my son’s warmth, staying close to his mama during this hard holiday season.

I tend toward the tangible objects: things he touched, things he wore, the imprints of his hands and feet.  We’ve received lovely ornaments with his photos.  We’ve been decorating with white birds after my husband suggested we house Atticus’ ashes in a porcelain bird.

Then of course, I had his portrait tattooed on my forearm. I have dreams of having living children and being able to see all my babies together.  I imagine cuddling with my family on Saturday mornings and always having Atticus with us. Not many people ask me about it, but I had the sweetest conversation with a little girl who asked why I drew a baby on my arm.  So we talked about things we like to draw and decided we drew things that mean a lot to us.  I told her that he meant a lot to me, so I drew him.  Her mother was very uncomfortable with the conversation in the middle of Williams Sonoma and I loved it.  It was real.  She was interested and unabashed with her questions (and of course, I chose my words very carefully – I’d hate to be disrespectful to her age or her parents).  So different than talking to many adults.

Tomorrow, he’d be 11 months old.  It’s gotten a lot… better? easier? None of those words seem right.  Different. Not quite so raw. The missing has not lessened.  The acceptance has grown.  The disdain for people with “plans” has grown. Even more so when it actually happens.  We had had a plan…

So below are a few of my favorite things that inspire thoughts of Atticus… my favorite moments of the day…


3 responses to “Remembering…

  1. I understand–I still have trouble when people ask how many children I have–I have three boys and one girl–I was allowed to keep three and one is in heaven waiting for me to be a part of his life again. If people ask, I tell them that Bryce was my firstborn, my stillborn son. I do not tell them for sympathy–I tell them because I want them to know that I am a survivor of one of the worse things a mom can experience,and that it is possible to survive. I want them to know that I have three of the most wonderful children a mom could ever hope to have and that i have such an awe-struck admiration for all of them. Would I have had the same appreciation if I had not lost my first son? I tend to think not. I would not wish it on my worse enemy, but the good I took away from it is the limitless gratitude i felt when I got to carry my babies home. Now I have lost my son and my beloved grandson–but we have endured this together and I think it has brought our families closer together in a common bond and the love continues to grow!!!

    • Lani – I always want to tell people that I have a little boy. My sister mentioned the same thing once… she wants to tell people that she has 4 kids rather than 3. It is so difficult to want to count them, but not draw unwanted attention. I don’t need pity, I need to attest that he was here and loved and that he still counts.
      I so appreciate that I have two really great moms that are supportive. While my mom has lost 2 grandchildren which is terrible and unfair, it has been really helpful to have my mother-in-law know that kind of babyloss ache intimately. I don’t feel so alone and it seems more possible that we can still have a family.

  2. Beautifully stated…both Shana and Lani. I’ve just watched a news “blip” (too short to be a story) about a preemie going home. The tug at my heart is tremendous. A mingle of triumphant joy for him and his family knowing the floors they have walked and will continue to walk….and another welling of my tears. My hope lies in the assurance that God lives in our tears and in the fullness of our hearts and that Atticus is not alone. My hope also lies in the witness of Shana and Jared’s love. Love triumphs even over death because Atticus lives on in our hearts and minds. We are better for having held him even for a whisper.

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