25 November 2010


Words are hard to come by today. Thanksgiving is here, kicking off the holidays and with it, family get-togethers where it will be all too apparent who is not there.

a grateful mama

Several friends and acquaintances have either had babies recently or announced pregnancies. Seeing or hearing these announcements was not difficult for me at first, when shock protected me from the worst of the pain. But that has changed. I want to be happy for every one of them, I genuinely do. And it's not the case that I wish any of them anything but healthy, uneventful pregnancies and perfect little babies.

It's not even the case that their joy reminds me of what I've lost. I haven't forgotten.

But the good news prods at an open wound that is slow to heal, poking at particular nerves that cry out with the pain of what we have lost each time I hear of or see someone else's joy.

From what I know of grief, it isn't something to be gotten over. It is a burden the grieved learn to assimilate, to absorb into who they are, and the carrying gets easier not with time, but with practice. And so I am practicing. I am resigned to the fact that there always be a part of me weeping over a small plot of earth where a little body -- one who had left mine just three weeks prior -- was buried.

I will always be sad that he's gone. But today, instead of focusing on the fact that he died, I choose to focus on being grateful that he was here. I am thankful for the boy who was nothing like I expected, but everything I wanted; who was as tender as he was fierce, who loved as hard as he fought.

What are you thankful for today?


Buttercup said...

Thankful for friends and family. Sending you hugs and keeping you in my prayers, today and throughout the days.

HennHouse said...

You, Kirsten. I'm thankful for so much--including you.

christianne said...

I love this, Kirsten: these beautiful words ... even as I hate the reality of this loss for you. I love your beautiful heart.

Today, in this moment, I am thankful for you: for your presence in this world, and for knowing you as I do. xoxo

Shay said...

I am thankful for so many things! I am thankful for my family and my friends...I am especially thankful for you and your beautiful heart! I am also thankful that Ewan was here...he touched my life and has forever changed me...still processing that fact, but he has changed me! praying for you today and always! much love is coming your way! Happy Thanksgiving! thanks for sharing your beautiful heart. Love you! xoxo

Annie said...

I am so thankful for Ewan and his story and the way it has impacted my life...continually reminding me of how precious and sacred our little babies are. And for you. For your words of inspiration and faith and fortitude. For your honesty and love.

Unknown said...

I am thankful for many things today, my family and friends. Even this snowy day. Another is you and your blog. It reminds me every day to cherish and love my family much more fiercly. I pray for you and your family. Thanks for sharing, thank you for your honesty.

Sarah said...

Thankful that I got to read this today, for your heart and your words. For my girl and my love, and the pie (almost) in the oven.

Anonymous said...

Family of Ewan,

My second son came home after 104 days in in the NICU on Tuesday so now both of my boys are home. I'm so grateful and thankful that they are here. I love and miss my girls who were only with us for a short time. I'm thankful for all my family and friends who have supported us this last year.

I'm also thankful to you Kirsten. Your courage and ability to share your inner most thoughts and feeling are helping me heal from the loss of my girls. Your words touch my heart and help me process my feeling. You are truly a gift from god Kirsten.

Happy Thanksgiving.

With love, prayers and hope

Anonymous said...

There is so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving....two sweet sons and a wonderful husband. Thankful for sweet Ewan and his courageous mother who remind me daily to hold on tighter and love stronger. Thank you for bringing smiles to my face, tears in my eyes and more love in my heart. Your sweet boy did so much for this world during his short stay and I know he will continue to do so much more. Much love and peace to you and your husband.
love, danielle

Anonymous said...

I've been praying a lot for you today, that God will continue to overwhelm you with his presence despite your tremendous loss. You have made me more thankful this year.

Tara said...

Praying for you always...Thinking of you today. I'm thankful for your willingness to share your journey through grief...I know it can't be easy to open up your heart to us as often as you do. Many have learned so much from you and Ewan has touched thousands of hearts, I know you both have left an impression on mine.

Lots of love and blessings your way.

Tea said...

I'm thankful for the way God has led me through my own grief, and continues to..

I'm sorry for the pain you are feeling, and that this season will carry difficult things with it. You know I've never experienced what you are going through, but I have experienced my own grief, and I will be praying for you.

Ingrid's Organic Body Care said...

thankful that you can be grateful amidst the pain. that picture of you and ewan is so tender yet so grievious. we were praying for you today, instead of your first thanksgiving with ewan, it was your first without him....and yet you are grateful. to God be the glory! what a precious caption, "a grateful mama."
and, what a beautiful boy. praying for your open wound.

Shannon said...

I'm thankful to read your beautiful words...I wish so badly that they could be different, but thankful that you share your heart. It truly is beautiful. You are a strong reminder for me to be more thankful everyday.

I thought of you a lot yesterday and prayed for you each time. Always praying for your open wound...

Ausmerican Housewife - Creating with Kara Davies said...

For Baby Ewan