I had expectations for the weekend meeting of 13 of my friends (only 3 of which I'd met before) and their rainbow babies. Those expectations were shattered.
It was better than I could've ever imagined.
To an outsider, I assume the idea of 14 women (3 husbands) and 14 children, all who have the common bond of dead children would be royally depressing. A group you'd hope to avoid running into because our faces represent whole families of children who are missing for no acceptable reason. I'm sure we represent what every other person on the planet hopes they will never become-- a parent who has buried a child.
And I guess that's true. Before losing Andrew, I would probably have gone out of my way to avoid that sort of thing. On second thought, I would've ignored the thought of such a group meeting because I was invincible. Had it all together and knew it would never happen to me. Why would it? Life was good.
Our group represents a bunch of women, men and children that are intelligent, attractive (yes!), fun, interesting, unique, and bereaved. We're different in so many ways, but the people we've become over the last few years since losing our children is what bonds us.
I've spent the last 2.5 years (yes, Andrew's 1/2 birthday was just a week ago) pouring my emotions out to writing as a way of therapy. Others took to their keyboards and did the same. We supported one another with words and that meant we did not feel entirely alone. Like we were not on the island of grief alone. And that someone, somewhere was crying similar tears of sadness over losing out on the life of a child they fully envisioned would be coming home with them and staying for good.
This past weekend, my house in the suburbs of Chicago was home base for what we coined the BLM Get Together 2013. Or Rainbow Weekend. We were central-ish being in the Midwest. In total, 31 people filled my home over the course of a few days with every single one of us missing at least one beloved child. We each had our rainbow in tow-- the child born after the sadness of losing a child-- the light after our storms. Our storms are never over and our children never forgotten. In fact, they are remembered and recognized even more because we have their siblings to hold and love.
We laughed. We cried. We did both at the same time. We ate. We took photos. We picnicked. We stayed up late hours chatting. We smiled.
It felt therapeutic. This whole weekend was just what our souls needed. After 2.5 long years of feeling isolated and suffocating in my own skin, I felt a huge release this weekend.
Sure, it was mayhem. With that many children ranging from 7 months - 2 years, you can imagine what kind of crazy my house looked, felt and sounded like this weekend.
But honestly? We wanted it to be crazier. Instead of 14 children, there should have been 29 of them wreaking havoc on everything they could find. Sure, we wouldn't know one another and this whole meeting would be null and void. But tell our hearts that. They aren't rational.
|Our beautiful rainbow babies in hats knitted by a grandma missing her granddaughter, Elizabeth. Incredible and emotional for us all. Lots of Kleenex.|
|Mamas and their rainbow babies|
These families and many others who could not attend this weekend were part of a large camaraderie we created through blogging. I know blogging gets a bad wrap as being self-indulgent drivel. However, without this bit of communication, I'm not quite sure where I would be today in my grief. It's still misery. It's still horrible to wake up every single morning knowing that I will never see my son again. Blogging has become a way to connect with others in a way I never imagined would be necessary in my life. That picture is important proof that these women and their beautiful rainbows have changed my life for the better.
Misery loves company. Maybe. Okay, yes it does.
But Lord. I'm just so happy I found these "miserable" people when I did and that I got to hug and cry with each one of them this weekend. I'm only sad it's over.
|Candles lit and wish paper sent in honor of our babies and those who could not be present to light candles for their children.|