It has been 6 years since we were informed our unborn baby did not have a heartbeat. Each time the anniversary rolls around, I try to busy myself with something fun and light hearted. We often take a long weekend road trip, or plan an activity away from home.
This is not to forget what happened. It is to be grateful for the life that I have now, and not dwell on the past and what could have been.
They say pain lessens as the years go by, and I would certainly agree that this has been true for me. I remember what happened, but I don’t really cry anymore. I can still picture the ultrasound room, the male technician, my sleeping baby on the monitor, and the female doctor who delivered the devastating news. I can hear my husband asking “Are you sure?” I can visualize myself weeping in the room, in the car, on the plane, and in my bedroom.
I was never able to write about the experience with without crying, but I sit here today not shedding even one tear.
The passage of time is the biggest reason. Six years is not a long time, but it is. It is enough time for me to accept what happened and for most of the pain to have faded away. Although there is no time limit to grief, this passing of time has been long enough for me personally.
I completed my family. When our rainbow baby arrived three and a half years ago, the family of four I had always imagined was complete. I got what I wanted, albeit two years later than anticipated, but I got it.
I don’t wish to live in the past. Everything spiritual that I have studied over the past many number of years has encouraged mindfulness, which includes living in the present moment. I can acknowledge that something in the past happened, but I do not need to let it define me. What happened is not going to change, and I don’t have to keep reliving it, and suffering from it.
This year I will be in England. Twenty years ago I spent six months living and working in the vibrant city of London, and it’s time to go back for a reunion trip. Back when I booked the flight, I was purposeful in making sure it would cover the anniversary of our lost baby. It is a way to remember how far I have come since that time, and how enriched my life has become, despite that setback six years ago.
If we remain focused on what was, there is no room for what is. Today I choose to live in the present moment, never forgetting, but not dwelling.