Gosh, I find myself writhing and wrangling and kicking and screaming about commenting here - like a two year old with a temper tantrum, "I DON'T WANT TO BE THANKFUL. I AM NOT THANKFUL FOR ANYTHING! MY BABY IS DEAD!" But, if I stop and connect to my breath, I can find that in fact, there are a few simple gratitudes...and honoring those does not dishonor the tremendous loss of my beautiful baby boy...thank you, eric, for bringing this question to a place where it doesn't feel "wrong" to be grateful, where it doesn't somehow erase my boy's presence, where I can hold the two - gratitude and grief - and it doesn't feel like "look at all the blessings from my son's death" because I simply refuse to look at it that way, if that makes any sense. Without further ado:
I am thankful for Glow, for connecting me to this world of other grieving parents, for helping me to see I am not alone, for helping me to find my voice.
I am thankful for my husband, that he is emotionally mature and verbally adept, that we are finding our way through this together.
I am thankful for my family, for my brother especially, that they have not abandoned us or forgotten Otis.
I am thankful for the care team at the NICU and for the way they handled Otis's birth, short life, and death; with dignity, with honor, with wisdom, with love.
I am thankful for my community, for my friends, for the many ways in which they have shown up and loved on us in this horrible time. For the many meals delivered, for the donations for Otis's funeral and our other financial burdens, for the ways in which they continue to show up for us.
I am thankful for my dogs, the way they cuddle in and remind me of all my mother-ness.
I am thankful for my body, despite my wanting to just hate on it for not being enough to carry my son out of it alive and healthy. I am thankful I have the physical strength to hike in nature, to breathe deeply, to dance again someday.
I am thankful for my beautiful, beautiful baby boy Otis. That he came into my life. That my pregnancy connected me to my body and its power in ways I never imagined possible. That I got to feel him kick and turn and wiggle and hiccup, that I got to hear his mighty heart beating, that I learned just how much I can love someone. I am thankful for his soft skin, his pudgy thighs, his full head of luscious locks, for his squishy little hands and his perfect nose. I am thankful for the ways he continues to make my heart bigger and my life more expansive, even in his absence.