My darling Kairi,
I miss you so much!
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you. The memory of being at that hospital, and receiving the news that your daddy and I were going to be parents has been engraved in my mind. I will never forget those weeks I spent in shock, in disbelief, in denial, and eventually in pain, in guilt, and in anger. I will never forget how my heart shattered into pieces when the reality of what had happened hit me. And I will never forget the days I spent in the psych ward, crying and wondering why this even happened.
I will never forget the day when I discovered you wouldn’t live. I will never forget the day I received my shot (the one that was supposed to dissolve you), and I’ll never forget the day your father rushed me to the hospital to discover that you were still in my Fallopian tube, causing it to nearly rupture, and, thus, having you surgically removed.
A part of me died that day. I don’t know which part but I never remained the same after this.
But what has been the aftermath of all of it? What has taken place after this tragedy? Have I simply moved on? Have I decided to simply “abort” the memory of you?
It doesn’t matter what kind of day I have ahead of me-be it a happy day, an angry day, a depressing day, a rainy day, a sunny day, or a super casual day-I still grab the one thing that reminds me of you-the Kairi bracelet I rarely leave at home.
I wear that bracelet 90% of the time. It consistently reminds me to strive to do better, no matter what happens. It doesn’t keep me from making mistakes; I still make terrible choices that I later regret. The bracelet has no magical powers, but on certain days, it points me back to the promise I made to you-to do the best I can do, to stay close (or return) to God, to correct and own up to my mistakes, and to live a life that you’d be proud of.
I’ve taken this bracelet on adventures with me, in the city and out on the trail. I’ve gone to church with it. I wear it whether it matches the outfit I’m wearing or not. No doubt about it, this bracelet is one of my most valuable possessions. What’s funny is that the bracelet’s outward appearance holds no high value-it’s not expensive nor does it look fashionable-but it’s meaning makes it PRICELESS. Just like you.
I was told that because I had given you the name ‘Kairi,’ I would not be able to use it again… but I never planned on giving another possible daughter your name. You hold your own value & your own uniqueness. Nothing in the world can replace nor change that. You are and always will be my one and only Kairi.
Can another sibling replace you? Can another sibling take the pain of your death away. Never.
It has now been 9 months. You should have been born, if not getting ready to be introduced to the world by now.
And what a perfect timing-right around Mother’s Day. I can’t help but laugh with pain in my heart. Instead of holding a daughter, I’m holding my heart with sorrow.
It was already difficult celebrating Mother’s Day before you arrived, but now it feels worse with you gone.
Once upon a time, I celebrated Mother’s Day like many other kids. I wrote on cards, selected or purchased gifts for my mother, and shared my reasons why I believed I had the best mother in the whole world.
Maybe this was tradition; stuff that was EXPECTED of me to say or share. But as time went by, I realized just how insincere my words of “appreciation” truly were. Abuse, neglect, and abandonment showed me I had no reason to truly celebrate my mother.
“When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the LORD will take care of me.”
-Psalms 27:10 NKJV
I then think of you. Would you have celebrated me? Would you be proud of me? Would you be the happiest little girl in the world to have me for a mother? Or would history simply repeat itself? Would I teach you better than what I was taught? Or would I only reap havoc and have you suffer the consequences of my own actions? Would neglect and abandonment follow and have you grow so distant and cold towards me?
What do you do when you have no relationship with your own mother, and when your first daughter has been laid to rest? What becomes of Mother’s Day? A day of grief, anger, and sorrow? A day of mourning? It becomes a day when every sign announcing the celebration of mothers everywhere is a slap to your face.
You don’t know whether you should be celebrated for holding life in your womb, or ignored because you never got to give life to the child in your womb. Mother’s Day, in my eyes, celebrates women who carried a child in their womb the full 9 months, and gave birth to it without complications. Mother’s Day celebrates women who have given their husbands a healthy gift; whose bodies didn’t fail their lover’s child.
There are many people who seek to correct the feelings, thoughts, and pain of women who have suffered the loss of a child. It’s comforting when the one encouraging, mourning, and sympathizing with you is another woman who has experienced the same pain; it’s annoying, infuriating, and insulting when it’s people who have never known the sorrow of losing a child.
It drives me crazy when I hear ignorant folks immediately think the worse of a would-have-been mother. “Did she do something wrong? What’s wrong with her?” (It’s even worse when your own mother becomes one of these people. How, God? How is it that some women, who don’t care to fulfill their child’s needs nor to become a better person so they can be an example to their child, give birth to healthy children.. but women who want to grow and become good mothers are left with an empty womb and a broken heart?) These are the same folks who don’t bother to give at least one word of comfort, but even if they did, it wouldn’t be received well.
Some people forget that the sorrow of losing a child doesn’t ever go away. We may find ways to cope with the loss, accept what has happened, and be comforted with the promise that we shall see our little ones again when Jesus comes back, but the pain doesn’t ever truly go away.
It takes time for some to deal with the anger and shock of the aftermath. Others go through it more peacefully. I realize there is no right or wrong way of grieving the process, so long as one doesn’t cause themselves more harm. You can’t put a time on it, even if someone else mourned the loss less time than you did.
As for me, little one? I have my ups and downs when I think of you. Some days I feel comforted because I know I will see you again, but there are other days when I feel unexplainable anger and sorrow- Days when I blame and starve my body as punishment for losing and failing my husband when he needed me to give birth to his child.
Although you have inspired me in so many ways, I wish I had experienced that inspiration with you alive.
But how exactly have you inspired me?
Some probably don’t even understand why I do what I do. Some probably haven’t even seen a transformation and wonder what I mean by “my daughter inspires me.” Some probably wouldn’t understand how you’ve awaken something deep inside of me- a mother’s instinct, perhaps. Was it always there? Was it waiting to be awaken at the proper time? Or was it birthed the moment you made my body your home? Either way, something happened once you came into the picture.
You can’t see when the heart changes, but God can. However, here’s how you have inspired me:
- You have given me a reason to appreciate creation all the more. I care for the environment/creation because it was something I wanted to teach you to take care of and enjoy.
- You’ve made my heart soften for children. This one’s been a tough one; I look at a child and wonder what you might have looked like or whose personality you might have taken after-your mother’s or your father’s…
- While I make awful choices that make me wish I could just disappear, the thought of you makes me want to own up to them, correct them, and seek to do better next time. I would have wanted you to face and own up to your mistakes, but what kind of parent would I be if I didn’t follow my own advice?
- You make me want to grow into the woman I was meant to be rather than the woman family and even well meaning people want me to be.
- You made me realize the importance of learning to love the way Jesus loves. I didn’t grow up with a proper understanding of genuine, unconditional love. Learning to love, accept, and forgive people the way Jesus does has been more difficult than I thought it would be. This one will always be a process. Yet, I have learned to forgive my abusers & people (like your grandparents) who have hurt me.
These valuable lessons have not been received nor acted on perfectly. I wish I could tell you they have been, but I hate lying. Still, another valuable lesson I’ve learned as a result of thinking of you is to learn to forgive and love myself, just as God does.
But.. I tend to be extremely hard on myself.
My reason? I have to set a high standard of character, discipline, and integrity because I refuse to conform to what people have labeled as normal or acceptable. I refuse to allow the dysfunctional habits and self-defeating thoughts that have been passed down from generation to generation in my family to take over my life. My greatest desire is to break the curse of dysfunction that had robbed my family from living the best life possible.
Nothing wrong with that, only I beat and condemn myself in a way God never intended for me to. And I often have to remind myself that I also need to give myself Grace.
The greatest gift I have is Jesus. And you, my treasure, have been laid to rest in the arms that hold your mother tightly-that’s the best place you could ever be in.
“But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.””
-Matthew 19:14 NKJV
So much has been robbed from me when I realized I lost you. I didn’t just lose A Child, I lost the opportunity to make memories with my child.
I will never see you have your first birthday; I will never see you get ready for your first day of school; I will never get to see you play with your father and throw your arms around him as you call out “daddy!”
I will not get to wrap my arms around you at night and put you to sleep; I will never know what it’s like to have my first argument with my first child; I will never get to see what kind of music, style of clothing, or hobbies you like; I will never see your features develop nor see whether you’d look more like me or your father; I will never even get to see you graduate from college and eventually marry…
No. I lost more than just my precious child. I wasn’t just robbed of having a child. I was robbed of so much more. “It IS a big deal,” my beautiful friend Cathi tells me, “it is a HUGE deal!” She’s right. You are a HUGE deal. I can’t bring you back to life, I can’t see you, and I won’t be able to create a life with you.
BUT, I can create a life that you’d be proud of. I can serve others instead of wallowing in self pity. Rather than feeling sorry for myself, I can strengthen myself in God and comfort other women who’ve been through pain. I don’t have to wait till the day I see you to finally enjoy life; I can enjoy life here and now!
This tragedy, as bad as it was, has lead me to being surrounded by amazing people who love and care for your mama. From visits to the hospital, prayers that were desperately needed, words of comfort, to bouquets of flowers that cheered me up- all of these have contributed to the healing process.
The question I ask myself right now is this: should I celebrate the fact that I was a mother in those weeks that I held you in my womb? Should I be counted as one even if I lost you before I could even gave birth to you? Should I embrace the privilege I had of being YOUR mother? Absolutely.
True. I cannot do what other mothers are doing for their children-raising and nursing them- but I take what you’ve given me and multiply it in your honor. I believe that is what a mother would do.
Not sure how much longer it will be until Jesus comes back. That day seems so far away…
… but I’ll see you again. Some day. I don’t know when. But one day… soon.