To My Baby Girl Who I Never Met
Pain is something that I am very familiar with. It has been my closest friend for most of my life, and it has never left my side. These past 12 months have afforded me opportunities to feel pain in ways that I have never experienced in my lifetime. Some of these opportunities have stripped me down to what seems to be only a shell of a human being. I want to process one of these experiences, but I have to let you know that this will not be an easy read.
At the end of 2020, my partner at the time and I experienced a miscarriage. I had never experienced a miscarriage in my life, but I had friends that had. To be honest, I specifically remember thinking that my friend’s reactions to such an event seemed overdramatic. I saw people getting commemorative tattoos. I heard them tell people about this experience, and I watched them grieve for months without a full understanding of what they were feeling. I didn’t understand the weight of their experience until I finally went through it myself.
For some quick background, my ex-wife (my partner before the partner that I am speaking of now) and I could not have biological children, so this experience threw me off in a way I never would’ve expected. I saw that it was possible to have biological children, and I wasn’t prepared for the heartbreak that came with losing a child. It hadn’t occurred to me that it was still possible to have children until this loss happened, and I was floored.
Though my previous partner and I are no longer together, I will always remember the strength that she demonstrated. I will never understand the pain that she experienced, and I would never pretend that my pain was equal to hers. She fought tooth and nail to survive such an experience, and she did it. I wish I could’ve taken her pain away, but there was no room as my pain was so strong that it almost put me in the dirt.
After my partner told me that she had miscarried, it took a while for the grief to set in. However, when it did, it was on a level that I have never felt or been able to comprehend. I remember sitting at my table in the dining room one day and losing complete control of my emotions and body. I furiously cried such bitter, angry, and sad tears. I couldn’t breathe for what seemed like minutes. I felt as if my soul tried to detach from my body because of the amount of pain I was feeling. I couldn’t stop the gut-wrenching cries that took over my body and mind. Devastation doesn’t do those feelings justice, and I am not sure there is a word or words that would properly describe that experience.
I was gutted.
I struggled with wanting to stay alive once the full weight of that loss set in. There were days where it was a battle to talk myself out of getting my 9mm and setting myself free from the grip that this living hell had on my heart, mind, and soul. There were times that I was stuck in a chair for hours, unable to move because of what I was feeling. I was suffocating, and nobody knew. Not only could I not find the energy to talk to anyone about this, but I didn’t want to. I had nothing to offer, and I was not in a place to receive anything from anyone else other than my partner.
It had finally hit me that this was our child. Without a shadow of a doubt, we knew that she would have been a girl, so I will refer to our child as “her” throughout the rest of this story. I was flooded with thoughts of what our baby would have looked like. What color would her eyes have been? Would she have curly hair like her mom’s? What color would her hair be? What would her cry have sounded like? What would her smile have looked like?
I kept picturing her tiny hand holding on to my finger. I will always wonder what it would have felt like. I try to picture what her features would have been, my own flesh and blood. I was trying to understand what that love would have felt like, but it was just out of reach. My tears were so deeply rooted in pain and a lack of understanding, but I tried to find meaning in all of this. It has been so hard to understand the point of this death.
Though she was not here long, her presence was still felt. Even though her mother and I are no longer together, she is something that we will share forever. Through the emotional turmoil, pain, and sorrow, I know that she embodied a peace that I wish I could feel in this lifetime. Part of me is grateful that she didn’t have to experience the pain of this world, but I still wish I could’ve held her in my arms just once.
I wrote a letter to our daughter during that time of grieving at the end of last year, and I have decided to share it. As I put these words down with tears in my eyes, I know that it is worth being open about this depth of pain. I know that she can see my pain, and I know that this is a way to honor her impact on my life. It is hard to allow the world to see these words, but if there is a chance that this could help someone through their grief, then I have to take that opportunity.
I bled these words onto pages when I was unable to speak the words of my pain.
To My Precious Willow Dream
Hey Willow, it’s your Dad.
I haven’t been able to speak on you beyond statements of logic; because I can’t bring myself to attach emotions to the gravity of the situation, But, I love you so much, and I’ve needed to speak to you. I just didn’t know when I would find the words. This may be confusing, but please know every word I am speaking to you is saturated with love. I am filled with fury, deep hurt, and curiosity.
Would you have her eyes or mine?
Why couldn’t we meet you?
Who’s in control of time?
You may have been unexpected, but we both had so much love to give you. Two people who have experienced so much loss and pain in this life just wanted a chance to share love amidst an innocence we can only but imagine.
I wish I could hold your tiny hand and hear you cry. I wish I could have saved you from such a premature ending. I wish I could cradle your soft head in my tired and weary hands. I wish I could’ve let you feel my love the moment we first made contact.
You may have only been 6 weeks old, but this loss feels like a piece of me was taken. Your mom and I just wanted some time with you. If it could’ve been for just a few minutes, it would have been worth all the pain and suffering. Yet, we didn’t get that chance, and we will never understand.
I’m angry and confused, sad, and in pain. We would’ve given you the world. You had everything to gain. My soul is restless and tired, and I feel like there isn’t much left. I tried to feel nothing, but even that is too much work.
All I can do is sit here in tears. My breath is shallow. Feeling suffocated by the constant losses of this year.
Your mom and I love you if it were only for a moment. If you find rest in the celestials, could you say hi to Breonna and George too? I will never understand why your life was taken so early, but I know I have to choose. To move forward regardless, to refind purpose, and find the will to survive yet another heartbreak.
I know that if you had my personality or your mom’s, you would have been a history maker. I can say that with no questions, doubts, or qualms. Though you are gone now, and we will never meet on this earth, please know that my love for you would have been the same today as it would be if we were allowed to experience the day of your birth.
The world may never know you, but you reside within the depths of our hearts. We were ready to give you everything, but instead, you were called home early to live amongst the stars.
So please, rest easy within the realms of peace and enjoy existence without pain. We will cry tears of grief. We will choose to feel and bring honor to your name. There are very few things that I can promise you because you aren’t here to hear them. However, you need to know that I promise never to forget you, and I promise to show the love that I know you would have brought to our lives. You are so precious to me, and I will love you until the day I can meet you again.
I love you and miss you dearly.
With all my love,