Creativity to Ease the Pain

Creativity to Ease the Pain

I have been an artist and writer all my life. Somehow I refused to let go of the child-like desire to color, paint, build block towers, write short stories and pen poetry as I grew. Working as an artist and writer have been very fulfilling for me. Then when Zachary died, I stopped. For one whole year, what I call my Year of Distraction, I couldn’t be creative nor did I even try. I lost myself in so many ways. It was when I got back into my work that I realized the amazing potential of creativity to help find a way through my grief – and this creativity is not reserved for just professional artists and writers. It’s for everyone.   Creativity itself is mysterious, spiritual and healing.   Creativity taps into a different part of our brains and allows us...

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Home Burial by Robert Frost

Home Burial by Robert Frost

When I picked up a stack of reading for my MFA graduate student residency I had no idea that one little poem could touch me so vividly. Home Burial, by Robert Frost. I read the poem for a class on dialogue in literature. Home Burial was an example of dialogue used cleverly within poetry. Once I started reading I realized that the action of the poem is the argument between a married couple. Their baby had died. The husband buried the child in a plot on what I imagine to be their family farm. The couple are grieving very differently, they are hostile towards each other, and they sometimes seem like strangers. Marriage after the loss of a baby can be strained. The tragedy can bind two hearts together or tear them apart. What I learned in class is that Robert Frost...

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New Year’s Resolutions for the New Normal

New Year’s Resolutions for the New Normal

Resolutions are tough. We envision the perfect version of ourselves and set goals of how to morph into that person. While others resolve never to make a New Year’s resolution because they know that they will most definitely break it. I happen to like resolutions. Goals fuel me. Having a purpose becomes a motivating factor for me in moving forward with my life. Some of the things I have learned about this ‘new normal,’ this life after the death of a child, in terms of making New Year’s resolutions include: Life is unpredictable and no matter our plans, we may head in an unanticipated direction. Being adaptable, flexible, and open are character traits that will serve us well. It is still better to hope and believe and make plans knowing that they may get changed or...

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Objects that Help us Remember

Objects that Help us Remember

One of the tough parts about losing a child is the lack of physical mementos of their life. It is easy to take stock of what I have that reminds me of Zachary: A blanket One sleeper The bear the hospital gave my husband and I His newborn identification bracelet One unfinished album of photographs A velvet blue box containing the urn of my son’s ashes The cards and few gifts that we received at the memorial This collection seems small but I know very well that it is more than some people have. For some there are no objects that remind them of their child. This may be especially true for those who have an early miscarriage. I’m a collector at heart – not of the expected sort of things like stamps or records or coins. As a child I plucked rocks from beaches and...

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Bedtime

Tonight, my son Eden did not want to be alone. As he lay in his crib, drowsy yet awake, he rolled over again and again to make sure I was still there. I did not want to be alone either and picked up my baby and he curled himself around my shoulder in response, my cheek resting on his head. I rocked him, hummed ‘his song’ and simply let our bodies be warm and snuggly together. These are the precious moments of parenthood. As I rocked Eden to sleep, my thoughts flashed quickly to Zach. For all the thousands of bed times I wish I could rock him to sleep, I somehow must be content with the one chance I had to hold him in my arms. I still remember the embrace fondly. I cradled him many hours after he was still. Pulling him close, I smelled his skin and kissed his...

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