I remember staring at his fingers. So long and perfect and tiny...and so very human. I stared at my son's fingers as I held him in the palm of my own hand. It was the end of what had turned out to be a very long, very unexpected day. I hadn't expected this day–my son's birth day–to be for another four and a half months. And yet, there I was, looking at his fingers, his hands clasped, right over left, perfectly still.
It's been five years since that terrible night in July. Today (October 15th) is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I'm writing today about Matthew, not so much because I'm sad (though it's always hard to remember), but more so because I am incredibly grateful. Matthew's life and death was the most painful thing I've ever experienced, for sure. And yet, I also think it's been one of the most beautiful, influential, molding things of my existence. Because of his little life, I've learned how to be grateful for so much. I've learned how to be a more attentive, loving mama to his sisters and brother. I've learned how to sit in grief with others. I've learned how to survive hard things.
These lessons, they are not easy. I'd trade them all away in a hot minute to have him here right now, testing my patience by getting out of bed for the umpteenth time tonight.
But, that isn't my reality. My reality is that, like so many of you, I'm thinking tonight about my little one, whose absence breaks my heart. I'm thinking of his fingers, those little hands I never got to hold.
But I'm thinking of you, too. You mamas and papas and your broken hearts. Maybe tonight your grief is overwhelming and all you feel is loss. But maybe, just maybe, you read this and many more posts from others and you realize: you are not alone. Maybe this realization feels like a warm hand, slipped into yours, a squeeze of human connection, a camaraderie of the heart. #write31days #31daysofinfluence #matthewleif #grief #gratitude #pregnancyandinfantloss #pregnancyandinfantlossremembranceday #october15 #deonafish