Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Right Where I Am Project: Two Years, Five Months.

ATTENTION: Reader Readers, the post includes the project I mentioned a few months ago, the one where you talk about right where you are in your grief and what it is like now, so new people can get an idea of the experience of grief further down the road, and so people further down the road can reflect on how far they have come in their grief.

"I want to write about Lucy, but I feel lost in all that I have said in the last two and half years. Haven't I said it all already? She died. I grieve. I don't know. What do you think I should write about?"
My sister looks down at her tea and back up again. "Don't ask me. I think you should write about dragons."
"Dragons?"
"Yeah, dragons."

"Grieving dragons?"
"No. Angry ones. That breath fire and whose eggs are magic."
"You are a thirty-seven year old woman."
"I still like reading fantasy stuff. Why did you ask me?"
"I don't know."

Sometimes I want to write about her, there is a longing to connect with her, but I just don't know what to say. I feel like I have written everything one can write about a little baby that lived for 38 weeks, in my belly, and then died.

And so, today, longing to write about her and my grief, I impulsively decided that today is the day where we should share about our grief, right where we are, right now. I mentioned this a few months ago. That maybe we should write about what it is like on the road of grief--from the earliest stages to the ones further down the road. So, here it is. I don't want it to be a bunch of posts where people say, "It gets better. Just wait." But rather posts where you just talk about where you are right now in your grief, and the daily ways in which grief rears its head, the things you can do now that seemed impossible, the obstacles you are facing. There is a Mr. Linky at the bottom to connect here. Please title your blogpost: Right Where I am: (Insert the Time Since Your Child's Death). Look at mine above. You can use the comment section of this post if you don't have a blog yourself. And please comment here to let me know if you are participating. I hope you decide to join in.


:::

After two years and five months, I still feel sad about Lucy's death. It is heartbreaking. I imagine I will always be sad. It sometimes comes out of left field, and sweeps me up in a moment. I cry and then get back to whatever I was doing. It comes in pockets of suck rather than a glue leisure suit of suck that sticks to my form for days until the sweat and tears loosen it. It still comes when I think of what we have been through in that remarkably short amount of time, or see another two point four year old child with dark hair and blue eyes, or I see sisters just 20 months apart in age playing together or just when I push that particular hurt because I want to mother her and I don't know any other way to mother her than to paint and cry.I guess my point is that it doesn't knock me out all day. It is just a moment in my day.


I have integrated her death and life into our lives. My daughter talks about her, and I answer without crying. We have Lucy rituals and certain things that were Lucy's in our every day life, like a towel I bought for her that she never used. We still call it Lucy's towel, and Beezus asks to use Lucy's towel and it is fine. It is more than fine. I like that Lucy can lend something to Beezus. That makes me feel comforted rather than creeped out. I couldn't have imagined that two years ago. This paragraph might have been the creepiest paragraph I could think of two point four years ago.

Yesterday at the market, the cashier remarked on how much Thomas looks like me. Almost as much as Beatrice doesn't. Genetics are funny, huh? We all laughed. And I thought about what Lucy might look like with her brother and sister. Who would she look most like? What kind of remarks would she get? Maybe she would have been the dark-haired, blue-eyed middle ground. I fell into the 100-yard stare and didn't mention that there was one in the middle. It didn't seem right to drop the dead baby bomb in middle of some small talk. It was awkward whether I mentioned Lucy or not, because I fell into a trance, staring in the middle space between focusing and not focusing, right above the head of the cashier, remembering her nose, her hair and everything that was as impermanent as her. My eyes might have welled up a bit, but I didn't weep. She would have turned into a baby that looked nothing like the picture I have of her, and yet, her face is permanent now, fixed, in a newborn state. My eyes moved my head from one to the other. Where does Lucy fit? Where do I fit? Not even in the most benign of conversations, or situations. I still don't fit back into the life I once had. That is okay, though, because I created a new life that I love.And so that is it. I fit into this life. It isn't the same. And somewhere in the past two years and five months, I abandoned that idea of my old life, and the new one, or what things should be like. This is the way things are. And truthfully, I made a good life despite Lucy's death, not because of it.

That is what grief is like for me now. My life is good. It is beautiful. Lucy gave me many gifts. I can say that now. I can feel gratitude for her and the way she taught me about love. My life is also completely different than two years, five months ago. I write about grief and parenting. I paint most days, or create something crafty and/or artsy. I light candles on an altar of babyloss that I have. I have a whole new set of people I go to when I am sad or happy, even. They also lost babies. Who I am on the blog is pretty much exactly who I am in my daily life, in the same way that talking to a therapist is pretty much exactly like I am in my daily life. I don't go around wearing my heart on my sleeve, but I am honest. Most of my friends from before don't email me anymore, or call. I am okay with that. They did what they needed to do, and me too. I am not bitter about it anymore. Or about much anymore. There are certain hurts, but mostly, I take life right where it is right now. I don't expect people to be there for me anymore, and in that way, they never let me down. That sounds depressing, but it is very liberating.

When I was in the market, I felt like someone recognized me. Not from another life, but from this one, the on-line one. She pointed and whispered and smiled, but said nothing. And I wondered if she knew me because her child died. It was a strange feeling, not unpleasant, but strange. Another moment when I remembered that Lucy died and that things are different, but again, that moment didn't floor me.

I feel lost with the people in my every day life. When I interact with this loving, supportive, compassionate community, and the other one I developed in the last few months, I am finding it hard to deal with the cattiness and weirdness of interpersonal dynamics among people who haven't walked through hell. I guess I have been thinking a lot about blogging and what drew me to put my private life out there so publicly, particularly the grieving, vulnerable part. I felt like reading about other people grieving and processing in the early days, it saved my life. Maybe precisely because I am not that emotive in real life. I hug. I express gratitude. but I don't express my vulnerability well. I can't ask for help comfortably. Being a crying, grieving wreck was a particular kind of hell, like a condemnation of some Greek God of emotion, or something, but it was also good. I learned to ask for help, be vulnerable, know my limitations. Some events I still cannot go to, and I forgive myself about that. I became disciplined with my writing, and my life. Writing here was a way to be emotive without sitting with someone's pity. I can't stand pity. I realize now that at times in the last two years I confused pity with compassion.

I did the best I could at the time.

That is something I can say is a huge sea change. I wanted to be the best griever in the beginning. Appearing strong, brave, resilient, but then I crumbled onto myself, and beat myself up. I don't beat myself up nearly as much as I used to. I really did the best I could, even at my worst moments. At two years since her death, I don't need this space as much to process my emotions, but I still need it. I love talking to grieving women. Lucy's death brought all these amazing women into my life. And when they came into my life, I learned what it is to have a community of people like me. I stopped being Latina, or fat, or athletic, or itchy. I was just this set of emotions on a screen, and that felt/feels authentic and right. I feel normal here, and weird out there. Because the shell of me is not me. Lately, I have felt gawky and outsiderly in my day-to-day life. Maybe because I am not drinking, and I am a stay-at-home mom, and I am a writer who observes people and I don't know anyone else like that in my neighborhood. I have been cut out of my neighborhood activities lately. I see the posts on FB, but then I'm not included. I feel soul sad about it, because my neighbors have always included us. I can't, for the life of me, figure out what we did. I don't know why, but I find myself responding in the same way I responded in seventh grade--to cry, feel bad about myself, and demand that we move away from this place as soon as possible. Then it occurred to me that people in my real life might be reading my blog without telling me. I have talked about a lot of heavy, hard shit in the last five months. Stuff that might keep people from asking me to parties.

I have read about this happening to other people. I remember from my early days reading about it with people years out. When their real life peeps into their online diary, and then have things held against them. They went private or password protected or went anonymous with a new blog name. I don't know how to deal with it, because I never thought I would care or not be able to just ask someone if they were reading my blog. I don't want to ask now and draw attention to my blog, and on the other hand, it feels like a violation if someone is reading about my emotions on a day to day basis. And that is just it. In the beginning, I didn't care if people read because I knew that grief was trumping everything. Now that people expect me to be normal again, I can't quite figure out why I ever thought telling anyone about my blog was like a good idea. And yet, I have come to rely on this space. So, that is the awkward grief place I am at now. I don't mind if people in my day to day life comment, or let me know they are reading, it is the awkward place of me not knowing what everyone knows. If they read here, they know way more about me and my weird hiccups in life than I know about theirs. It feel unsafe sometimes. It makes it sound like I dwell in grief, but this is the place I process that part of my life. And it is so important, I can't give it up. Blogging is strange, because the temporary feelings become permanent, and little dalliances with the annoying take on the gravitas of epic angers. Nothing is ever permanent with emotions. Nothing, except people can pull up a specific blog post and say, "But you feel like this."

I have had a subsequent baby since Lucy died, and think about another here and there. I think I romanticize the pregnancy of my "before time," not Thomas' pregnancy, which was insanely difficult for me emotionally. And sometimes I think that more time between Lucy's death and another baby will make it easier, but then I know myself too well. So probably not another baby, but sometimes I entertain the thought.

All in all, I have a good life now. I miss Lucy every moment of every day. It has become part of my being, the missing, but my writing and art involves her and connects me to grief which connects me to her and that feels right and good. I love hearing from babylost mothers just coming into this community and those who have been around for a long time. Quite often, someone will comment on my blog in the first weeks/days after their loss, and I try to respond, and get a no-reply email. Then, they like never comment again. I am sure it seems like I don't care, but I do. I did the same thing in the beginning of my blogging experience, just because I didn't really understand all the ins and outs. And I thought I was too new to talk with if someone was years out. But on this end of things, I can only say that I just miss comments sometimes, and am not terrific on follow-up if it isn't easy, but I want to talk to everyone directly. I pull something from each comment that comes in. I don't email directly with very many people, and I love emailing and keeping in touch that way, so hit me up, if you want. I also am on Facebook a lot, and Twitter here and there. I am on google chat  and am available on skype. Email me and we can chat. I don't mind talking on the phone anymore. Just know that you are not alone. Lots of times in the early days I felt so lonely I thought I would burst. I thought that I would like to die from the pain, though I wasn't suicidal exactly. I just wanted it to end. I don't feel like that ever anymore. If you want an email back, leave either your email, or comment with a respondable email, or email me directly at uberangie(at)gmail(dot)com. I read lots of blogs and love to add new ones, so leave yours for me. I'll add it to my reader.

:::

Now, it's your turn. Where are you in your grief? Emotionally. Physically. Psychically. Title your post, "Right Where I Am:(Time since your child's death)". then come back here and link your blog post on the Mr. Linky. Click other participants and read about right where they are. Comment if you can. Just a thank you for telling me about right where you are. If you don't want to write a full post, why not just comment here and tell me the time since your loss(es) and anything else you want to share. Spread the word around the community by linking back to this post, so people can find out what grief is like on all stops on the road.



176 comments:

  1. i'm in. thanks for putting this out there angie, its been awhile since I've read a babylost blog- too long probably. i've been out of it, even though I write every so often. this is a perfect post for me to write right now. yours was beautiful.
    miss you xo

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  2. What perfect timing as I get ready to celebrate/mourn Nora's ten year birthday. Thank you for doing this... I needed this. Much love.

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  3. This is really a great idea Angie. I'm in a funk of late, withdrawn and not able to find the energy to type out words. But if I find my voice again, I'll contribute.

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  4. Oh, yes. The part where you said that people always expect you to feel like you said on your blog. I have some of those people. My blog gets the worst bits of me. Then they come to my house and expect me to always be feeling like I said on my blog. "Oh poor Jen," they say.

    Thank you for this, Angie.

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  5. Thanks for making me think. For helping me to figure out where I am. You raised a couple of points that I hadn't thought about (exactly).



    1. I still do not like to talk on the phone. I was a talker. I used to talk for hours. Now, hardly ever. I don't even like to talk to my parents for 10 minutes once a week. I'll have to figure out why that is.



    2. I appreciate comments (although not necessary) but I don't really like to respond. I'm still really guarded (I wasn't before losing Alexander). I don't really want random people to know me. By the way, no need to reply (smile).



    3. I have lost some long time friends. Not for lack of trying (on their part) but it's just no longer a good fit. The good news is that it leaves more room in my life to create new relationships that do work, that I'm excited about (excited and friends in the same sentence, surreal).



    4. I rely heavily on the BLM community. Their blogs make me feel such sadness and grief. It helps me to acknowledge and feel my feelings (something I was never good at before and truly suck at after).



    Well, I didn't think that I had anything to write about "Where I Am" as I didn't think that I knew. Surprised myself.

    Peace,
    Alexander's Mom
    http://rememberingalexander.blogspot.com

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  6. Brilliant idea. I'm in as well, just need to get the toddler-free time to sit down and nut this out. I think this will be good for me, as my blog is sorely neglected, such as the way of it at two years, nine months out.
    Thank you, as always Angie. So glad you found us here all those months ago.
    We love you. We remember Lucy.

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  7. Yep - in! Thanks Angie for setting this up - it is a beautiful idea. I remember stumbling around in those early months thinking - how the $#@* do people do this? And I wished for some kind of measure - this is what it looks like 6 months on, a year on, 2 years on. I know it is a different path for everyone, but I think it is valuable to see how others are doing it. I've benefited so much from hearing all your stories & thoughts. xxxxh

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  8. I will definitely contribute. I am so glad that you have started this. I am only two months out and I am thankful that I have found your blog and stilllife365. I am very interested to learn how people have integrated the death of their child into their lives and what their grief looks like months and years down the road.

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  9. Thanks, Angie.

    I too feel like I am trying to find a balance between online and on-the-ground life. Out there sometimes feels superficial while here it's the nitty gritty.

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  10. i'll write a post sometime over the weekend when i get a chance! thanks for sharing.

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  11. I feel similar to much of what you said, and what some have posted here in the comments. I thank you for this idea and your words.

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  12. I can so relate to just about everything you said! I will try to think of a way to write it all out.. I'm just not good at it anymore?! In the beginning it was so easy to just let my fingers type exactly what my mind was thinking..and now it's like you said.. I feel like i've said it all. I appreciate your impact on the babyloss community angie! I always love reading your words - they do make think more deeply. :)

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  13. I actually started writing my post before I read yours in its entirety so I feel like I took some of your words verbatim! "I don't expect people to be there for me anymore, and in that way, they never let me down. That sounds depressing, but it is very liberating." I recently found myself not angry with people who failed to be supportive when my son died. I only hope that they can forgive me for not being the person I was before he died. I thank you for creating this project and look forward to reading all the entries!

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  14. Thanks Angie...I haven't written about C. in a while and I really needed this...it did me good actually...

    I look forward to reading all the replies...

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  15. Beautiful, Angie. I like you where you are, no matter how you are.

    I don't have a blog, so am going to take up some space on your comments, but here goes:

    I am okay. Mostly. I still can't believe this is my life sometimes. That Sam is dead and life continues and it even has some good, loving, beautiful moments. I am sometimes angry that he died, although less so (a lot less). I don't like it but I have accepted that he is dead and there's nothing I can do about it. I still wish he were here, I suppose I always will.

    I changed that day. I no longer look to people to support me, I suppose like you, I no longer expect it. I no longer believe in control. I have none. I no longer believe that if you work hard enough, do the right thing, be a good girl (not that I was really one) that things will work out. Life is random. I learned a lot about chaos, a concept I hadn`t really thought much about. I learned a lot about compassion and pity and the difference between the two. I learned about suffering. About forgiveness. And love. All-encompassing love, love so much that you wish it was you instead of him kind of love. All the big things, you know?

    Sending you much love.

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  16. Angie ~ you are amazing and I think of you, Bea, Lucy and Thomas a lot. You are one of the first true connections I made... probably because our losses are so close. Sending you so much love. I really enjoyed this exercise.

    xo

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  17. thanks for doing this, angie. I think I used up my entire quota of written words on my blog post so will have to wait for the reserve tank to refill before I can leave a thoughtful comment (did I even mention in my post that I exhaust myself frequently and easily?)

    love,
    sarah

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  18. I've linked, and written. And yes, I sometimes think perhaps I've said it all, after 7 years. But maybe not.

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  19. Thank you for this Angie, and for so much more.
    I will join in, just need some sleep first.
    love you. x

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  20. Thank you for this, Angie. I'm in, and I'm really enjoying reading the posts. Yours is beautiful and has me doing a lot of thinking. I'm also pretty much in love with "the glue leisure suit of suck," one of the best metaphors for grief that I've ever read.

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  21. Beautiful post and great idea.

    There's so much in your post that I'm not sure what piece to grab ahold of. I think the spirit of your post and this whole idea is so helpful. Grieving is really about keeping it slow and steady and focusing on the 'right now' even if things seem bleak.

    Best to you.

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  23. Where I am right now: 15 weeks (3 months 3 weeks) since Ava's death.

    Today I spent the day putting together picture frames and cards for Ava's memorial service this Sunday. I wrote a poem in each, speaking of love and how our girl will never be gone...while feeling profoundly alone.

    Somedays my grief is a managable numb existence. I eat, small talk with friends and pretend to be fine with all the grace and manner I did prior to Feb 8th 2011. Other days, I am driven to my knees in the sheer agony of loss. My only child, my darling girl, my Ava is not here. It is as if there is a war within my head between the logic of loss and the emotion of it. I remember she is gone and logically know my life moves forward yet am emotionally hollowed out at the loss of my girl.

    15 weeks out, I can carry on a conversation, am debating going back to work and at moments feel alive. I still see my grief counsellor, journal daily, am united strongly with my husband and feel the most profound sadness. My physical healing moves forward. Having almost lost my life, my body is no longer my own. I am railroad of scars, Ava's scars. My body is now her's. Marked with her in the most concrete way, I carry her with me wherever I go. I live my life in honor of her, I lived and she did not; my life is now her's.

    15 weeks in, I miss my girl. I ache, I weep, I mourn.

    Mouschin@gmail.com

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  24. I have read every blog and they are all so incredible.. what a beautiful and inspiring idea. I realize now how different my grief is. I am not sure I ever realized how different, yet so similar to mommies who are able to have rainbow babies..I wonder how I would have been if I would have been able to have more. It was a question that haunted me for years but I had put it on a shelf. Now reading these blogs, I am thinking again, thoughtfully.. not in anger this time. I am in awe of every blog I read... so beautiful. Thank you for your honesty, your sharing. Much love and remembering your children ... they have left an imprint on my heart.

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  25. This is such a wonderful project. Thank you so much for doing this.

    I can relate to what you wrote about your real life creeping up on your blog--I absolutely hate when people think I am only what I write. Or bring it up in a weird context. I don't know. I didn't really think it through when I started it, but it was what I needed at the time.

    You are welcome to come hang out in my neighborhood any day of the week. And bring your heavy shit--we love that up in here.

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  26. Found you through both Rachel (CurlsoFred) and Sally (Tuesday's Hope). Love this idea; your post was beautiful.

    xo

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  27. I think this is a fabulous idea. Right after Henry died, I needed so much to talk to people who had been walking this path for a while. I needed to see them breathing, see them with their babies still part of their families.

    I stayed up way too late writing this. In some ways, it is bringing together a lot of things that have been stirring around in my head lately. Tomorrow night I'll stay up too late reading other people's stories.

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  28. I am so glad you are doing this. My post has been submitted. I am looking forward to reading others posts because I so desperately want to know what to expect down the line (although we all grieve differently, I'm sure there are some similarities).

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  29. Angie I will always remember the kindness and light you showed me in the weeks after Cullen died. I reached out to you because you had a living child, and of course a subsequent pregnancy. I still have the copy of 'Something Happened' that you shared with my children and I.
    I am forever grateful for the connections I have made along this journey.. without them I am not sure I could have ever taken the first few steps.
    Looking forward to writing this out on my blog.. thank you for doing this.

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  30. Such a great idea. What an inspiring thing to write about. I can't wait to get to read how everyone else is doing too.

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  31. I love seeing your perspective, two years ahead of me. I'm still so up and down on any given day, that I'm not sure I can coherently explain where I am. But being incoherent has never stopped me from blogging before, so why stop now?

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  32. Here I am Linking. Thanks Angie, and thanks everyone for posting your stories, I will have some reading for quite a few days by the look of this list.

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  33. I did the best I could at the time

    Oh Angie, that just tore me up that sentence. And this whole post. So beautiful, and so full of truth. I share your truth, my darling friend.

    I have written my post. x

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  34. Thank you for this, Angie. Your post is beautiful, this idea inspired.

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  35. What an awesome idea. You can tell that this idea is so inspiring just by the number of comments and links already posted!

    I'll be writing my post sometime this weekend and when done, I'll come back to link to it.

    I love your blog and you are one of the wonderful BLMs that have been a lifeline to me over the last 9 months. Thank you so much for what you do.

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  36. Blimey Angie, you've inspired me to join in.

    Thank you for doing this. It was good to take a step back and take stock.

    I think about Lucia Paz each time I stamp a name.

    xxx

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  37. Thank you for doing this, I have followed your blog for a long time now and this is the first I have replied.
    I am a lot further down the line and hope that is ok

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  38. Thank you, Angie.

    I read your blog back in the early days of discovering blm blogs. I didn't bookmark it and spent months trying to find it again.

    Thank you for the role you play in helping us to connect - with each other, with our loss.

    Much love, Louise

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  39. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to write with such focus Angie. To have a collection of grief in all these different timelines is going to be a great resource for me to read/devour - a truly great idea and beautiful post - thank you so much for this Angie

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  40. What a good idea. Thanks so much to all for sharing!

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  41. Thanks for this Angie. I have really felt connected reading everyone's stories and have found this to be quite helpful. What a beautiful community of women.

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  42. thank you for this. i haven't been writing a whole lot lately and i still feel as if i will tweak my post a bit more, but i needed to write, and i needed to cry and feel the things i felt while getting some of that out.
    thank you for the idea and for bringing all of us together.
    xoxo
    lis

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  43. thinking of your beautiful, red lipped Lucy tonight.

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  44. I had to come back and say I am loving reading all the posts. I read a comment you left on someone's blog and I vote yes yes yes to doing this yearly. Thanks again Angie!

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  45. Thank you all for participating. I am truly inspired by each post. Y'all are really amazing writers. I am inspired by your honesty and journeys.

    I am going to bookmark this somewhere so that people can add to it whenever they want. Maybe it should be an annual type project, because I know I don't much sit in the present with my grief. I'd be great to take inventory each year. I think, WOW, that is different than I used to feel, or WOW, I hope I don't feel like this forever.

    Part of the reason I did this was that a few months ago, two people I know in real life lost children in much the same way Lucy died. I gave them both my number, and talked to each of them. All they really wanted to know is if they were going to feel like they felt forever. I wondered that. I wondered what my life would look like at two years out. Would I be able to go to storytime? Would I still be angry? Would I reconcile with friends?

    Well, you know.

    Grateful to have each of you in my life. Thank you.

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  46. Thank you for doing this. I linked up and posted as well. It's been an encouragement to read through everyones posts. Thank you to everyone for being so open and real!

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  47. I am just about 6 weeks out from delivering my firstborn still at 31 weeks. I am just beginning to explore the amazingly supportive community and have appreciated the existence of every word I have read as they have helped me to not feel so entirely alone and lost.

    I am still trying to recover physically from everything and find that my emotions just explode at times. The stress my husband and I have from the expectation to finish our dissertations and move onto fulltime jobs at a university within a couple months isn't helping much either. We just can't get past the thought that we were planning to do all of this with our little Ayden and now nothing seems as exciting as it did before.

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  48. Thank you Angie. This is an amazing idea.

    I love the fact that B can borrow Lucy's towel too. I wish that my daughters had something similar. And your conversation with the cashier just breaks my heart.

    Blogging is a strange old thing , giving such a permanence to (sometimes) transitory emotions. But I'm glad that you have decided to keep this blog public and continued to write here. More than I can say.

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  49. I would post a link, but my blog is private. Because there are (unfortunately) nasty people out there, who don't understand.

    Where I am now is worse. Worse that it was five years ago when Freyja was stillborn. Worse than it was just over three years ago when Kees died. Worse than it was nearly 2 years ago when Jet died.

    It's all worse, because it doesn't look like getting better.

    My rainbows died and it feels like my future died with them.

    I simply exist in this strange thing which is my life, over which I seem to have no control any more.

    I lost my children. I lost my future. I lost my career.

    That's where I am now. Lost.

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  50. I contributed but my blog remains private ... for that I am sorry. If anyone that has not been invited to join my private blog and would like to read, email me and I can send you an invite. Until our adoption journey is completed, my blog will remain private. But I feel so isolated from the larger community I was once so apart of...

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  51. i am going to do this on my blog- but i am wondering if it is ok to quote one of your paragraphs, attributed to you of course. you so hit the nail on the head for me. is that ok?

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  52. Angie, I'm so very grateful to you for doing this. I have read every entry so far, and am moved beyond anything I expected. This is just what I, and it seems so many others out there were needing right now.
    My love goes to each and every person here. I haven't been able to leave comments on everyone's blogs,but I've been moved by everyone's stories.
    Thank you Angie.x

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  53. Melissa and =P Jenny. Aw, honeys, so fresh and raw. Glad you are sharing right where you are. There was an immediacy to that early grief that felt suffocating and impossible to stay in. I just wanted to escape. I guess I did by drinking wine, writing to other babyloss mamas and reading blogs. I exchanged thousands of emails during that time. But I hope this project can connect you with other mamas early and later in grief. I have only emailed a few people in my years that hasn't emailed back. Most people are gracious and lovely and want to talk with you. So reach out. (I am one of those women.)

    Mirne, so sorry that the trolls are back. That pisses me off, but I do appreciate you sharing right where you are.

    Liz, absolutely. I have no problem with being quoted. That amazes me that anything I write can be quoteable. HA!

    Amy, I can imagine that feeling of disconnect. I always want to read your posts, but because it doesn't link in my reader, I don't always have a means to get there easily. And my blog reading tends to be squeezed in between minutes. But I also understand why you went private. Maybe more now that ever before.

    Thank you all for sharing. Love and deep appreciation for your words.

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  54. Thank you for your honesty. I definitely have felt that I have written about it all and then some in regards to my back & forth journey grieving the loss of my daughter Lilly. *hugs*

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  55. Wonderful idea, Angie. I will get to work on my own entry. : )

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  56. Thank-you for organizing this. It is such a fabulous idea. I have loved reading about the places other woman are at.

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  57. Angie, thank you for doing this and for being there for me since Aiden died, even though I'm just a face in the computer and we're a million miles away. You're a wonderful friend and I hope we 'meet' one day. I love this exercise and would love to do it annually. xo

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  58. Thanks. This is a really good idea. Taking a snapshot of now and seeing what 'now' might be in the future.

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  59. Thanks Angie for this writing prompt and to everyone else for sharing their stories. We are only 67 days out since Margot died and being able to share in the grief of so many others has made the past few days a little bit easier. I am story number 44.

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  60. Thanks for the prompt, Angie. You are an instigator of the finest variety. xo -- vera

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  61. Thanks so much for this - I found your blog through the project via the Paparella Brood and I'm really proud to participate.

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  62. I came out of retirement to take part. It feels too important not too. I'm hitting my head off deadlines like crazy in my work at the moment. But as soon as I'm not, I'm going to read all the posts that are linked here to bear witness to the incredible, difficult, twisting journeys we're all on. Thank you Angie.

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  63. I would def love to join in. I think this is a wonderful post.

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  64. I have submitted my jumbled mess of thoughts. Stream of consciousness seemed the only way to go with this for me because I really dont know how I feel, three years out. But grief is always evolving, and this is such an important project. Thank you.

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  65. Your timing is perfect, I needed this today.

    It has been 8 months since my twin boys were born, Quinn died the same day, Trace followed him 4 days later.

    A lot has happened since then, we adopted a 9 month old baby girl in early April - but although it makes me mommy, it does nothing to take away my grief.

    Today, Memorial Day, I stood in the shower and cried. I feel like the world wants me to be back to normal - I have a child now, but that doesn't take away what I lost with my boys. And that doesn't make it all better. I love her dearly -AND I miss my boys - all at the same time. They are separate, independent things.

    About two weeks ago my MIL watched my daughter for 2 hours while I was on a business call. Afterwards she said to me "I'm so glad you don't have the twins" - apparently she was trying to express that she was overwhelmed taking care of just one. But I was so angry with her - I stammered and shook my head and told her not to say it - never to say it again. I still cannot fathom why someone would feel it is okay to say that. We would never say "I'm so glad your mother died, she would have been such a burden on you". So, why is it okay to say you are glad that my children aren't here?

    After discussing it with my DH, he wants me to "fix it" so there isn't tension between us. Yet, he knows if I bring it up to her, she will just justify what she said as me being too sensitive or that it wasn't what she meant. Yet, the truth is that her motives really weren't relevant in the moment- knowing that she didn't mean to hurt me (assuming the best case scenario) did nothing to lessen the stabbing pain that took my breath away when she said such a terrible, horrible thing. And frankly, trying to discuss it with her and hearing her being defensive would almost be worse than the original offense. How is it that she gets to be mad at me for stopping her and telling her not to say that? How does this make sense? I honestly don't know how this issue gets resolved - or maybe I just don't care to resolve it. A line has been crossed that can never be un-crossed.

    I don't want to be the bitter woman whose children died...but some things are just sacred. Some things that should just go unsaid - even if they are in your head. I can't and won't apologize for feeling this strongly about it.

    Somehow this whole thing threw me right back to the angry stage of grief. Not surprisingly, shortly after this incident, I got a sore throat - the kind that comes when your body needs to speak out and you feel that you can't say what you feel. I can't make it go away. Perhaps it is telling me that I need a way to express how mad and sad I still am. Maybe this project will help.

    And that is the ugly truth about "right where I am" today.

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  66. This was an awesome post Angie. Thankyou for sharing, and for prompting the whole community to join in. I have shared on my blog, but alas I am private for the moment... though will share if people contact me.

    xx

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  67. I just screwed up. I somehow linked you on mine. So there are two of me. The second one is right.

    Thank you for this beautiful idea. :)

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  68. Thank you for this wonderful idea and this project. What an amazing mama Lucy has. xoxo

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  69. I'm a little late to the game, but I still wanted to participate. Thanks Kami

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  70. Thanks Angie. I really needed this.

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  71. Such a great idea and so many beautiful bittersweet posts. So many are so utterly artful with words. I can't even begin to write exactly how I feel but I recognise so much of what is said.

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  72. Such a great idea and so many beautiful bittersweet posts. So many are so utterly artful with words. I can't even begin to write exactly how I feel but I recognise so much of what is said.

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  73. Thank you for thinking of this, I'm in as well! I'm going to try and do this now. For so long your words have rang so true to me and you have such a delicate way of saying everything. I haven't been able to blog as often as I would like, so it's been a while.

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  74. this is a wonderful idea. as always, angie, you have a way of connecting us all again even in ways you never thought possible. thank you for everything. <3

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  75. Just added my baby girl's post, now writing and adding my son's.

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  76. I just added Chris's post from Glow in the Woods which is also posted on his blog. Thanks for putting this out there and allowing all of us to share our stories. It's been good to be back in the community - if only for a bit. Just to share in what we've all gone through, whether its years, months or days since our losses.

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  77. Thanks for that Angie. Julia's first birthday wasn't so hard as I was pregnant with Evan and in awe of this second little miracle.

    It's different this year. For Julia's second birthday I released a couple balloons printed with fairies and a note tied to them and watched as they disappeared from view.

    For Evan's first birthday we're having mini cupcakes and a balloon release at the cemetery. I'm hoping quite a few people turn up.

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  78. Thank you for sharing this with...someone who is new in the grieving process.

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  79. Such a wonderful post. Spent half the day writing a post which could have easily been named Right Where I Am. Anyway... I guess there's no hurry. Thanks for the brain-food.

    Much love! xoxo

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  80. what a great project! Thank you for getting this started. It is so nice to see where everyone is at in the their stages of grief whether it be a few months to multiple years.

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  81. Love this! Thanks so much for inspiring us all to participate!

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  82. Angie, I just found your blog through Stevie's Mom, Kristin. This post brought me to tears, and I want to thank you for your kind words. This post is inspiring (as well as every other post of yours I have had time to read).

    Not only am I lost, but confused, scared, and still broken. Almost in a worse place now than ever before. It's been 6 1/2 months...who would have known grief was this bad.

    I left my link, and I am writing now. I also would love to quote you on a few things...if that is alright with you. Thank you for this post, I think we can all say we need it. What a great idea! :)

    Xoxo.

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  83. thank you for this.

    i feel silly writing my thoughts down as i could easily pull bits and pieces from everyone's posts to create my own.. we are all so much alike in our feelings and grief.

    it really does help to read stories from the other women on here. thank you all for sharing.

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  85. Wow. What an honest, compelling post. I feel like I want to comment on every line but I can't find the words. Thank you for sharing this and allowing others to share where they are in their grief. I want to read each one but I'm in one of those fragile places right now where others people grief might overwhelm me so I keep my distance. But I really loved this. I really connected with the having no expectations of past friends and it being liberating. It has been liberating for me for a long time but now I'm starting to get lonely. I too have retreated into my blog world and I just can't find enthusiasm for the day to day small talk. I just can't find it in me to stand across from someone I hardly know when I have all these blog friends that I know so well and that I love so much. It's a hard balance to strike and so far I quite honestly suck at it. Anyway, I'm rambling. I just wanted to say thank you for this post. Thank you for sharing Lucy with us. She is a very special little girl and very lucky to have a mother like you.

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  86. Thank you, Angie. You have, as you usually do, put something nebulous I have had in my head into words so that I can pull them out and examine them. This was a great idea and it has helped me feel connected to read all the entries.

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  87. Thank you for the prompt. I needed to write again.

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  88. Thank you for this idea. I found you through Franchesca... This is something I really needed to spend some time thinking about. It's not something I want to think about, I'm only seven months in, but I needed to. So thank you!

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  89. Thank you. My post is a bit of a mess. It made me think.... and ....I actually have changed just a little bit in these two months.

    Thank you for making me think even though I think if someone reads my message they'll get as confused as my thoughts are.

    hugs
    Maria
    xxxxx

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  90. I just wrote my post and plan to read all the others later. I look forward to connecting with a new BLM community.

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  91. I love this idea that you had. It has been so helpful to me to see where other women are in their journey of grief. I am 4 months 1 week and 2 days. I have seen many women post and have read their "Right Where I Am" but this is the first time I have visited your blog.
    I am planning on doing the "Right where I am" tomorrow, but I wanted to comment today.
    I too wonder sometimes who is reading my blog (which of my friends) and how that changes how they think about me. There have been a few times I have censored what I wrote knowing who was reading, but I have decided not to do that any more. This is for me and if they are not okay with it, well then, OH WELL.
    I have been so blessed by this community of women in the last four months. I think it is one thing that has helped me get through so of the really rough days.

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  92. Im new to your blog but I loved this so I had to link up. Thanks for the opportunity to write this. Im sorry for your loss. Much love!

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  93. I wrote my post earlier today. Thanks for doing this!

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  94. A little late, but I just finished my post. :)

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  95. This is a beautiful site. I recently lost my mom to a sudden heart attack in January. Grief has taken its toll on me in all aspects of my life. It feels like losing a child: it's the closest relationship with another person I'll ever have. And it's gone. Thank you for this, though. It makes a person feel less alone. xo

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  96. So good to read your words Angie
    I've missed you
    And this community
    I am going to try and write a post tonight
    Thanks for your inspiration
    And I'd love to Skype with you sometime

    Xox

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  97. Thank you for this, Angie. I haven't the time to really stop and reflect on how much has changed since I started on this path. You, as always, are amazing. ((hugs))

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  98. Dear Angie... Thank you for your inspirational idea. Love to you always xoxo

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  99. "It comes in pockets of suck rather than a glue leisure suit of suck that sticks to my form for days until the sweat and tears loosen it."

    I love this.

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  100. Sorry I'm so fucking unbelievably late to this. I sorta explain why although end of the year stuff isn't helping matters, either.

    Thanks Angie.

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  101. "Pockets of suck." So spot on, Ang. Thank you for this incredible project. Remembering your sweet Lucia and sending love. xo

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  102. This is such a great idea. I hope we can send so many more people this way.

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  103. Brand new to the blog world. Rather posting in the blog world. I've been a lurker for a while now and have been trying to begin for a couple of months now. I think this project is what I needed to jump start. Thank you. My son Blake was stillborn at full term four years and three months ago. I'm still trying to adjust to my new normal.

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  104. Thank you so much for doing this...in all the hustle bustle of life it has been awhile since I have actually stepped back to see exactly where I am.

    This was very helpful!!!

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  105. This is such a good idea, Angie. Thank you!

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  106. This has been (is!) great! I'm slowly making my way through and meeting so many wonderful mamas (and a few papas) along the way.

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  107. I'm new to your blog. Thank you creating this project. It took me a couple of days to write where I'm at. It was tough but I needed to do some reflecting to realize that I've come a long way. I also wanted to say that I'm so sorry for the passing of your precious Lucy.

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  108. Angie, you are always inspiring and I feel this is the perfect topic for me to write about now too....hopefully I get get the thoughts and feelings out then vs now Lots of Love and Light x

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  109. I just added my link. I've been trying to write this post for such a long time, but it was just too overwhelming. Thank you for coming up with this idea!

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  110. I wrote my post last Friday and didn't realize I was supposed to comment here as well.

    Thank you for doing this, I love reading everyone's posts as to where they are right now.

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  111. i just added my post. thank you for this great project, and a chance to freely talk about our grief. <3

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  112. Hi Angie,
    I have recently found your blog and am grateful for it. Thank you for the opportunity to contribute my story here on your pages. Your post was inspiring and made it easy for me to follow suit. I am looking forward to continuing to follow your blog. I found much peace in contributing to this project. Thank you for that....

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  113. beautiful idea. something I much needed as grief snuck in on me again over the last 2 weeks. I appreciate the opportunity to stop and evaluate where I really am.
    THANK YOU!!!

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  114. great idea, thank you! i still have many to read, but look forward to it.

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  115. I enjoyed writing this post. I'm still learning to cope and trying to find ways to connect to our loss. Thank you for posting this project. I've enjoyed reading everyone elses blogs and posts of where you are. It gives me hope in the days ahead.

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  116. Thank you so much for this project. I have read so many already and will continue to read them all. My post was a little bit all over the place, but that's how I seem to be these days too:)Thank you for sharing where you are, I am glad I found your blog!

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  117. Thank you for inspiring me. I finally created a blog today and this was one of my first posts.

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  118. Hugs to every single one of you. xox

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  119. Thank you Angie and also to all of those who share their stories. I really needed this right now as my baby girl's first birthday and angelversary draws near.

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  120. What an awesome post and project! I have seen many of the bloggers that I follow posting about "Right Where (They Are)." I have been meaning to come here and read your post, write one of my own and then start to make my way through the links.

    Being over 3 years out now, having a child before my loss and a SPAL, I can relate to so much of what you said. Thank you. It is so validating to read what I am often thinking and feeling and know that someone else that is further out from their loss is in a similar place emotionally.

    I especially connected with this,

    "It makes it sound like I dwell in grief, but this is the place I process that part of my life. And it is so important, I can't give it up."

    That really speaks to a huge part of what my blog has been for me since my daughter Molly was born and died.

    So thank you again for sharing, for this wonderful concept and for giving so many of us a new vehicle to process and share where we are at in our grief and life right now. Reading your thoughts and words were just what I needed to hear today, right now and I imagine as I write my own Right Where I Am post and go on to read all of the others, that will be very moving and healing for me too.

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  121. What a wonderful idea. Thank you.

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  122. Just added mine. Took a while, because I wasn't in the right mindframe to write, but I tried. I can't wait to have a good chunk of time to go through and read the others. xo

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  123. Thanks for this! Even now, after almost 11 years (!), I still tear up when I write about this. I don't mean to discourage anyone - you have to believe me that my life is not dominated by this event any more, the pain HAS passed, but writing about it, talking about it. Well. That's different.
    Thank you to all of you.

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  125. Thanks Angie...I think this came at the right time.

    I needed to do this. Our b-day anniversary is coming up next week,and I am feeling so many emotions...I still have a hard time writing about it.

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts, and for doing this great project.

    P.S. I wonder if you could delete the first linky...the second one goes directly to the post...sorry for the mess.

    Salma

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  126. Just added my post to the project- thank you so much for putting this together. Definitely needed to get some things out and this helped a lot.

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  127. Just linked up, thanks Angie! A very cathartic excercise for me three years out. I hope it helps somebody in some way!

    Kat @ In Dylan's Memory

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  128. Thanks for starting this project Angie. Its amazing adn comforting to know that we're all still in the same place, no matter how long it's been since we lost our children. What a beautiful idea you had.

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  129. I really needed to do this today.. just stop and think how am I now? Angie your honesty is a gift to us all!

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  130. Looking forward to reading all the stories out there...

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  131. Looking forward to reading all the stories out there...

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  132. I've been stuck with nothing to write recently. This gave me a reason to blog again. Thank you!

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  133. I have been managing an online group and your topic sparked a renewal for us...so I thank you for this! I probably didn't do it justice, but it really helped me today!

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  134. Hopefully, I will be able to come back here with a good post. For now, I am over 12, almost 13 years out, with many children, and it still hurts. It will always hurt, but the pain gets duller with age? Thank you for your honesty. And your "she is not an angel, she was my baby."

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  135. 10 months and 9 days.. I thank you for your inspiration and hope that I will have something to post. I thank you for sharing your heart in this online community that always touches my soul when I need it most! Lots of love your way!

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  136. 10 months and 9 days... I thank you for your inspiration and pray I can find the words to share it has been a while since I've blogged. I'm so thankful for you sharing your heart in this online community that always touches mine when I seem to need it most. Sending lots of love.

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  137. Posted :)And linked. http://realhopebears.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/right-where-i-am-2-months-6-days-later/

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  138. What a powerful project...such a powerful way to look at my grief and where I am today..thank you for this exercise, it was very helpful for me and very moving all the way around. xx

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  139. Thanks for putting this project out there, Angie. I am all too new to this community and can get all the support I can. Thanks to you and all the other moms (and dads!) out there helping each other and now me. xo

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  140. Oh my word. What an amazing gift you've given so many--a connection to others in a very tangible but not necessarily sought out way. Thank you, thank you!

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  141. thanks for prompting me to take note of how i am doing RIGHT NOW. its easy to let the days drift by ... not acknowledging the present moment...present pain...present joy.

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  142. thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk about my daughter.

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  143. Thank you for the reminder to stop and take an inventory. I needed that.

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  144. Thanks for creating this space. Your blog and some of the ones I have linked to from reading your blog have helped me process some of my emotions in these first 7 weeks since losing my daughter.

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  145. Thank you for sharing this! I have enjoyed reading everybody's posts on this project :)

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  146. Thank you for doing this I think its amazing and I think to all those new baby loss parents this may be helpful to see grief will transform and it wont always be suffocating

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  147. Thank you for connecting all of us...

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  148. Thank you for this chance, being 5 years out I hope I can help some women who are dealing with new losses.

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  149. amazing project. i know i am very late to the party, but i am so glad to be able to participate.

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  150. I know this is late, but I don't think I would have been able to write this any earlier. It's been 3 1/2 months since I found out my son died. Thank you for doing this.

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  151. Thank you for doing this. It's been nearly 8 years since our journey began.

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  152. Thanks Angie. I've just posted mine...number 160.

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  153. Already commented, but made some changes to my site and had to re-link.

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  154. I wrote my post a while ago, but didn't link. So, here I am!

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  155. I posted mine, 5 years and 5 months out.

    Thank you, Angie. xo

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  156. What a good idea. I'm going to join in too. Thank you. ((((hugs))))
    Karin

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  157. This is my first blog post ever. I'm in the thick of it. I am new to the world of loss. I figured I should stop reading so much and start writing...maybe it will help. I don't feel coherent...but I put something down...My heart is bleeding...I might as well bleed on the computer. Thanks for giving me a space to find so many other women who will help me on this wretched road. You and I both lost our daughters at 38 weeks...that is how I found you.

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  158. Thanks for doing this! Such a blessing! Thank you!

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  159. Yeah, so I read this a few days after you posted and I am just now linking up & trying to write again. As you'll see, your paragraph about the real life meeting the online life really resonates with me, so much that I have stayed away from my blog not knowing what to do. Hoping to work it out soon. Thanks for ALL that you do!

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  160. I finally did my "where I am now" It was kind of stressful.. but I'm glad I did it! :) Thanks Angie!!

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  161. i started writing this a few months ago, but finally got around to finishing it. i had to update and rework it a bit, but i think i'm happy with it for now. thanks for doing this. these posts have been interesting to read and help me feel more normal...less alone!

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  162. I think I will definitely do this every once in a while. What a wonderful idea.

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  163. I have started a new project and blog. I also wrote my Right Where I Am 9 months 16 days later. http://www.babylossmomsfound.com/1/post/2012/01/9-months-16-days.html

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  164. The passing of my little baby happened exactly two weeks ago. Today is the day I said I couldn't wait for, when I was leaving the hospital. The thought of being cooped up in my house for two weeks was unbearable, and now I'm here, at two weeks, allowed to leave and I can't seem to move. This house of grief has become my sanctuary. The world out there is foreign, filled with people who could never understand. It is at the doorstep, that I find myself today, swaying back and forth.

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  165. I just posted. Almost 1 year. Eeesh.

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  166. Thank you! It will be exactly a year tomorrow that I wrote right where I am.

    Thank you for the opportunity for me to see just how far I have really come. It's all there written in black and white.

    big hugs

    Maria
    xxxxx

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  167. I finally did mine this year. Thanks for doing this again. I really needed to "hear" myself tell the truth.

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  168. Thanks for doing this, it is amazing to read other's experiences and be immersed in a community that is so understanding. I will do my blog post very soon.

    http://dear-finley.blogspot.com

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  169. I appreciate this opportunity to share. It is very important to not feel so alone in this journey. I treasure each story here and I am so grateful to everyone who posted. Thank you for being brave enough to be honest about your grief. Love to you all! <3

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  170. What a great idea. I'm so happy to have found this community as I'm still in the awful raw stages of grief. I posted my link above, but here is my blog URL https://milesapart.squarespace.com.
    Thanks for doing this.

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