Saturday, June 12, 2010


My husband and I got married our Senior year of college, during the Christmas break. We got a skunky little one bedroom apartment, but it was ours and we learned to be with each other. We learned what brought each other up, and what brought each other down. What foods we detested, and I learned that he'd eat anything I made so he wouldn't make me feel bad. He learned to hug me when I cried.

3 years pass. We grow and change, but we are still the essence of who we are when we got married...spontaneous, spunky, fun. We get pregnant. And we are excited! We plan and decide how we're going to try and be spontaneous, spunky, fun parents. December 17th rolls around and we hear no heartbeat. Dec. 18th, Lyra's born. Dec. 19th we bury her.

Our 4 year anniversary comes on Dec. 28th. We hold hands, and hope that this is the worst we have to experience. We know it won't be easy, but surely it can't get worse than this?

Except, we have to learn who we are all over again. Not just who he is. But who I am. I'm more akin to a sloth now, than the quirky redhead I was before. Can I even go back to who I was? Is it even possible, and if it was, what steps do I even take to get there? It's scary to think that my husband married me, the Rachel I was then, and now has to figure out how to love the Rachel I am now. 

This is by no means a revelation that our marriage is falling apart, or that we hate each other. This is not pointing a finger at my husband, blaming him for something. This is a revelation that I have no clue who I am, and I feel old and sad and not like myself. I don't know what makes me feel alive. I don't know what I really enjoy outside my art. Where is my spark? It will be six months soon. Will it take a year? Will it take 18 months? How do you flounder around during those months, til you're more yourself? Or is the rest of our lives, after a loss like this, just about getting used to floundering?

I detest this picture, but I'm trying not to be neurotic enough to try drawing it 20 more times before giving up and not posting at all. I need to beat down the critic a bit today. Except I'm not feeling well. So I'm going to go sleep.


  1. I know that feeling too. It captures it. Perfectly.

  2. you are both different people now- i totally understand the complete shake down that occurs from the loss of a child. there is nothing left untouched and changed.

  3. That spunky redhead is still there, it's just that she's been changed by losing Lyra. I have no idea what it's like to experience the kind of loss you have experienced, so I can't give any idea of when the spark comes back. It's different for everyone. But one day, the colour of life will seem a bit brighter than the day before, and so on and so on.....

  4. Losing a child makes you a different person. I've told hubby so many times how sorry I am that he's ended up with me instead of the Annie he fell in love with and married. Friends ask when I'll "get back to normal" or "bounce back". They keep waiting for the old me to be resurrected. It can never be, but I hope I can get closer. It's been three and a half years now.

  5. This so speaks to me as well. I think the second hardest thing after the death of my daughter has been the loss/death of me - of my former self. I'm not who I used to be anymore. My mom speaks to as it there will always be "life before Acaica, and life after Acacia." It feels like two different lifetimes.

    Love the artwork, by the way. I do drawings too to help me process my grief. I see a therapist who also does art therapy and sometimes I do artwork with her. I find it to be very therapeutic to get my feelings out on paper. And it's an interesting way to document my grieving process.

    Sending you love. Take good care.
    - Shelly

  6. This is your time to grieve, to be a sloth, to sleep and do whatever it is your heart says it needs to do to heal and stay alive. You'll come to yourself eventually, waking up one day realizing you feel like you, but a different you than before. Not the you before Lyra and not the you of intense grief. None of what I said may make any sense at all, but that is how I've come to think of myself and how I got here. There was the pre-Liam Amy, the grief struck Amy, and now there is present day Amy.

    I think the art you posted today is very expressive and does not need anything changed. It is perfect.

    Lot's of hugs and love.

  7. Losing a child definitely changes you and all the people you love have to learn to know this "new" person. I love that drawing. I think it's expressive and captures your feelings so well. Don't change a thing! XO

  8. y'know curls, something i've learnt is that we all have our very own life stories which make up and shape who we are, who we were and who we will become. we are not static creatures and are constantly both shedding and evolving. our stories all have both sad things and happy things happen in them , in that way we are all the same in some way or other. you are evolving and your husband is evolving and you both will continue to do so throughout your lives, what you are now is you, this is part of your story, you haven't gone anywhere, thinking of you and sending loads of love xxx anne

  9. I've been thinking about this lately too. When Matilda died I expected overwhelming sadness. I knew it would change me but I'm not sure I expected it to bring me to this place where I no longer know myself. It's been 7 months and I don't know where my spark is either - some days I feel a glimmer of it but most of the time, not at all.


    Maddie x

  10. I resonate with this post (and the drawing) so much, you have no idea. I hate that I feel like my poor husband has lost his daughter and in a way, his wife too. I am definitely not the carefree, happy girl he met at summer camp when we were 13 and married three years ago.

    You articulate those feelings so well, through both your words and your art. Thank you.

  11. I was most definitely still a sloth at six months, and probably still even one year. It is so, so hard. No easy way through any of this.
    I understand you.

  12. I know the feeling the month of May is like that for us. Great picture too. (((hugs)))

  13. I just read this now - thank you so much for posting this. It's so true.

    Sorry I've been AWOL - I've not been a very good friend this last month. I'll try to be better.

    xoxo Sara

  14. It will take a long time. Some day you will find your new self, who you are now. You will not become your old self again. But you will become happy.
    I lost my first baby.
    I have three more now.
    It has been 10 years.
    I'm OK now, in my own "new" way. I wasn't then.
    It takes time.

  15. My husband and I are experiencing this now, too. I have always been on the hyper side, chatty, social, getting all riled up about politics, world events, social justice infractions. Now I want to be a hermit and everything other than Nara's life and death seems so trivial. I was surprised this week to feel the activist in me ignited. It felt so good to focus on something other than grief that I jumped way in...I think it kinda threw my husband off to see me so intense on something like this - a local social justice issue. Power issues really incite me. But in the midst of it, I also felt guilty to be acting so much like my old self for the first time...I let the people I was trying to help know my situation and that I didn't know how much they could really count on me now, but that I will do my best considering...then I felt like Nara was some sort of cop - out excuse...does the guilt never end? I want to be myself, but never forget.