A few days after Leah passed I thought to myself, “How am I going to get through this?” I even said to my mom and sister, “I can’t do this. It hurts too much.” It is a hurt you can’t even describe. A hurt that is ALWAYS there. A hurt that will NEVER go away. You not only mourn a life that was just here with you but you also mourn a life that will never be.
When tragedy strikes people want to help and comfort. The cards, gifts, meals, donations, phone calls and sympathies poured in days after her passing. It showed us that we had a wonderful community of people here to support us. It was comforting but I knew most of them would never understand the depth of our pain. I felt supported yet alone at the same time.
Until I received something from two friends. It was a comfort box from another grieving mom. Finally!! Someone who understood what I was going through. Words can’t describe how much this box meant to me. Now, it didn’t include much and it wasn’t going to fix our tragic situation but it was exactly what I needed at that time. A small box including comforting items and a note. A note written by another grieving mom. A note that explained to me I was NOT alone. That I was NOT the only mother who had ever lost a child. That I was NOT the only one who had gone through this. Now, I obviously knew I was not the only one but had I ever known anyone who had gone through infant loss? Kind of but had I ever spoken to another mom in depth about this topic? No. Had I ever learned how to deal with this kind of loss? No.
This box and note opened a door for me. I now knew someone who I could talk to that would understand and be able to help me cope. Days and months went on and I began to connect with several other mammas. Some were local and others are not. Whenever I felt the need to feel supported and understood I would turn to them. Sure, I have friends and family I could turn to without even asking but do they truly understand? I don’t think so. My husband is ALWAYS there for me as well but there are some things he will never understand because he was not the mother. The one who carried her, gave birth to her, and cared for her the majority of the time. Our pain is the same but our roles with Leah were different.
This is why I want to help other moms. I want to be there for them and tell them what has worked for me and what hasn’t. I want to be there when they feel like no one understands because I know they will come to a point when they feel so alone. I want to be there to say, “I get it 100%.” “I feel that way too.” “That IS hard.” “I’m here for you.” And if I can do all of those things through a comfort box, a note, and an open invitation to talk then I am going to do it.
“I cannot think of anyone stronger than a mother who has lost her child and still breathes.”
“Always remember, you are braver than you think, stronger than you seem and loved more than you know.”
Mandi Lowe (Leah’s Mommy)