I discovered the online baby loss community last October, when the isolation I was feeling in my own grief was reaching such a high I wasn't sure where else to go. So I got myself on Instagram searching hashtags, and I Googled all kinds of things a women hopes to never have to Google, and I found I was very fortunate.
October just happens to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month (Babyloss Month) and I was quickly inundated with posts and events and movements that would help me connect with people and be able to share my own story. I wasn't ready last October to do any sharing of my own, but I read. And I read. And I learned so much from so many different people all over the world. I learned about the kind of grief that makes your heart feel so broken it's a wonder it even beats. I learned about finding some hope and light where only darkness seems to exist. I learned that I was not so alone after all and that everything I was feeling was "normal" and "okay." And most of all, accepted. Accepted by people who didn't think I needed to be fixed. Who didn't think I needed medicine to cure my brokenness. Who didn't think there was anything at all "wrong" with me and the way I was feeling. But I read posts and blogs and articles about other women, who like me, would always have a piece of their heart living away from them and who just needed time to be able to figure out how to go about living life with that separation.
When I stumbled onto this online community last October, I walked into an online post/photo-a-day movement called "Capture Your Grief." A movement where a short prompt every day encouraged people to share a bit about their grief journey. I was able to see how the journey is different for everyone. How the hard days would always come, but that I'd eventually get a break from them too. How you can somehow find power in grief. That grief can be inspiring. That it's hard. But to acknowledge it, and feel it, and use it can give you purpose and strength you didn't think you could have. But also that grief just sucks too. And that all of it, the good and the bad, is okay. That no matter where I am on the journey, I'd never be alone.
Today, I'm ready to share, and I'm ready to "capture my own grief" and how it looks now, one year later. The prompt for today is "Sunrise Dedication" and I'm dedicating this post, and all of posts this month, to the moms and dads just starting their journey like I was last year. It's my hope that they find all of the support and strength and comfort and community that I was able to find. That they learn how to navigate these waters in their own time and in their own ways. But mostly that they know they are not alone. And neither are their babies.
Sitting here, wide awake before the sun has risen, I know with certainty that our babies are all together, giving us strength to make it through another month without them. And cheering us on as we celebrate them and remember them this month (and every month that comes after).