Sometime after my miscarriage in April 2011, I w as at Midas waiting for an oil change. I had spent at least two weeks sitting in our rocking chair staring blankly, crying, meditating, and communicating with our baby—conveying my deep love and apologizing for my inability to protect.
At the mechanic, I could sit no longer. I was completely numb and vulnerable. Everything reminded me of my loss. I did not want anyone to see me like this—all teary-eyed and ready to cry in an instant. So I began to walk—wandering aimlessly until I spotted a second-hand baby store. It was the last place I would have expected to want to go, but it beckoned to me, and I ventured in. I found nothing of interest in the store, but it was therapeutic to pretend that I was shopping for my baby like I was supposed to be doing, and as I did so, I knew what I needed to do next.
Since the miscarriage, I had read the book Something Happened with my daughter Taylor multiple times daily. At the end of this book, the family plants a tree for their baby so they will have a place to go and remember. I had been thinking about what I could do to honor my baby, and in this moment I found a sense of direction. I walked another mile towards my favorite second-hand store. Upon arrival, I saw Joann Fabric. I found and purchased a square memory box. Next I walked to the second-hand children’s store. I found a pair of duck sandals, a little onesie that says “I wished for a little fish,” a pacifier that says “calm” and a little baby pop-up book. I choked down my tears to ask the cashier how much the book cost. She must have recognized my pain because she looked at it for a second and then placed it back in my hand, simply saying “it’s yours.”
Once home, I decorated the memory box and placed it in the now-deserted room that was supposed to have been our nursery. This small gesture made such a huge difference in our grieving process. It gave us space to feel, and it honored our baby for who it was, including all of the dreams and hopes we had held for it and for our daughter Taylor as a big sister.
Through this small gesture, I found solace and rest in a place where I could remember, grieve, and eventually look back with sadness, a lot of love and a rested settled feeling, knowing that my baby has shaped me in ways that I could not have imagined.
And I am a better person for having known and carried this child, even if ever so briefly.