We've been trying to plan the memorial service for Hazel. It's so much more for US, though--a chance to publically recognize that this small life was our daughter and that we loved her so very much. Her siblings still cry about missing her--her mama will cry every day for a very, very long time.
Some days I feel like I can barely pull through. Everything in my house makes me think of Hazel--even non-baby things. The bed I sleep in where I first really noticed she wasn't moving. The orange chair I sat in while trying to poke and prode her into movement. The couch in the living room where I rested after drinking a soda, hoping for her to wake up. And the most difficult--my own body, where she lived and died. I can't put my own body away. Sometimes I get so freaked out by everything and feel like I can barely breathe.
Gratefully, I have been able to sleep well, thanks to the antihistamines I've been taking to help with my milk drying up.
Ironically, but not surprisingly, based on the name of this blog, one of the hardest things for me has been my milk drying up. I feel like I have to say to my body "I've not cheated you! I'm not formula-feeding this baby! I just don't have a baby to feed!" I took such joy in breastfeeding my little ones for as long as they needed and it breaks my heart that I couldn't have that experience with Hazel.
Here's a poem I'll likely share at the memorial service, from Madeleine L'Engle's book A Ring of Endless Light:
The earth will never be the same again,
Rock, water, tree, iron share this grief
As distant stars participate in pain.
A candle snuffed, a falling star or leaf,
A dolphin death, O this particular loss
Is heaven-mourned; for if no angel cried,
If this small one was tossed away as dross,
The very galaxies then would have lied.
How shall we sing our love's song now
In this strange land where all are born to die?
Each tree and leaf and star show how
The universe is part of this one cry,
That every life is noted and is cherished
And nothing loved is every lost or perished.