A few days ago I was on the phone with a friend and she wanted to know all about Annabelle's birth, how we're doing, and how we're feeling after getting our rainbow baby. She asked if we felt any sadness in the midst of all the joy... No, not really. There are times when I'm looking at my new baby and it hits me that she'll never know her big brother, and it kind of takes my breath away. Gosh, it feels strange to even think of Ollie as a "big brother"... Before he even came along he was going to be the baby of our family. We had our two kids, our girl, and then our baby boy, and we felt that completed our little family. Annabelle was never a thought, until Ollie passed, and she's been such a blessing. It makes us believe that she must have a very important purpose on this Earth, and maybe that purpose is simply (but not at all "simply") to allow her parents to feel joy again... Pure, deep in the soul, explosive joy. I've managed to feel a lot of good things in spite of my son's death, but I never thought I'd feel pure JOY again. I don't believe having a new baby has filled that empty space left in our hearts after Ollie's death, but what I do know is that the world feels so much lighter since her birth. We've felt this constant metaphorical heaviness ever since our son died, the "weights of grief". But as soon as the nurse put Annabelle's crying, newborn face right up to mine, those weights disappeared. Her birth was very emotional... Cleansing, uplifting, joyful tears. I was laying on the operating table, shaking from the anesthesia, unable to move most of my body, waiting for the Drs to sew me back up, and all I felt was pure love and joy. After I saw her face, I swear the room was sparkling, glowing, glittery. I loved everyone in that OR who helped to bring my baby into this world, and I told them so! Even the surgeon with the bad bedside manner, who needed to help with my csection, seemed to warm a little after being a part of our rainbow's birth. The world feels light again... In fact, it feels lighter than I can remember it ever feeling before... living the definition of bliss ❤️ But, back to my friend's question... I'm sad that Annabelle will never know her big brother or feel him the way Mark, Maddie, and I do. He'll live through the pictures, the stories and memories we'll share with her, but he'll always be abstract in her mind. But, I told my friend, there is something so peaceful about Annabelle... it surrounds her and it makes me feel like part of Ollie's beautiful soul is living through her. And, in terms of her "knowing" her big bro, maybe that's more than I could ever ask for ❤️ So, Jamie, who's been very involved and relevant through Ollie's life and death, and I have this whole conversation, and then she looks up and she sees this perfectly heart-shaped cloud floating above her ❤️ Dear Ollie, Mommy is getting everything you send me. I'm so thankful for your lessons on life and love, but even more, the way those lessons are helping to shape me into what I imagine is the person I'm meant to be ❤️ And I'm so grateful for friends who not only look for Ollie, but SEE him the same way I do, keeping his spirit alive and making him more than just a memory ❤️
On January 3, 2013, my 1 yr old son, Ollie, passed away. That's where my life "before Ollie" ends and my grief journey begins... My new normal, my path toward healing, my life "after Ollie". I'm a grieving mother who believes in hope. This is my story.