Clara. It should be no surprise that I would choose her for today’s prompt. Today’s picture is an excerpt from a letter that I wrote to her, a couple of weeks after we said goodbye. However, in saying goodbye to Clara, I ended up saying hello to a lot of things too.
I said hello to a new perspective on abortion and pregnancy loss, a perspective which has empowered me to be a stronger woman. A fire has been lit within me, driving me to search for ways that I can be of support to other women, to other moms, who may be struggling with grief from a loss, or with postpartum mood disorders.
I said hello to a new chapter in my marriage. The experience of losing Clara could have ruined a marriage. I really believe that to be true. It is the kind of thing that, were there any cracks to begin with, could split a marriage right open. Thankfully, this experience has only drawn my husband and I closer. We’ve leveled up, so to say (uh oh, gamer nerd core has been exposed!). We have been able to lean on each other throughout this experience. We have taken extra care to listen and hear each other, and I am grateful every day for this amazing man that I get to spend the rest of my life with.
I said hello to a new level of gratitude. Gratitude is something my mother was really good at teaching me. For almost as long as I can remember, my mother taught me to be grateful. As such, “attitude of gratitude” is a phrase that can often be heard around my home. It is an important quality that I hope to instill in my own children. Grateful as I was to begin with, there is nothing like loss to deepen your appreciation for what you already have. Saying goodbye to Clara has opened a new well of thankfulness within me. It sounds strange to say, but in some ways, I am thankful for this experience, as terrible as it has been. I recognize the personal growth and spiritual development that I have undergone as a result of going through it. But it isn’t just me, my husband, my parents, my in-laws, my children, and many more people, have been affected and have grown from this terrible loss.
In just 22 weeks of gestation, Clara taught some very important lessons to a great deal of people. So, we said goodbye to Clara in 2015, but because of her, we said hello to a lot of wonderful things, too. Plus, it’s not really goodbye, only see you later.
Thank you, sweet girl. Mommy loves you so, so much.