Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Your Story Matters

Your Story Matters

Avery's Story Matters

Every baby's story matters. No matter how brief, their story matters. 

They all deserve a voice and we as their parents should be able to say their names, share their stories and talk about them without fear or worry about what others are thinking. Here I am 2 years, 3 months and 10 days since losing my daughter and I still cringe when I have to meet a new person. Not because I have to speak the awful words, "my first daughter died," but because I have NO idea what response will come after I share Avery's story. Will the person brush her off and end the conversation as quickly as possible? Will they genuinely care about her story? Will they try to fill their level of discomfort with some 'profound' statement that causes more harm than healing? It's always a gamble, my heart always on the line. 

But it's a gamble I take and will continue to take because her story matters. And I want to use her story and share her story to break the silence; to help the subject of pregnancy and infant loss no longer be a taboo subject that people run away from. I want to educate people. I want them to know that I am one of many. I am 1:4 and they probably know many others like me. I want to help change the way society responds to that awful phrase "my daughter died." Instead of running away in fear of the conversation, I want people to feel comfortable to say "I am sorry, tell me more about her." And continue the conversation. 

Avery's story didn't turn out the way I planned. Not even close. There was no first day of kindergarten. No college. No successful career where she changes the world through some amazing career. But she is making a difference in this world. 

She changed me. She made me a mom. She has inspired me. She will keep me from staying silent. Together, she and I will help others feel comfortable sharing their own stories. Her story matters. My story matters. Our story matters. Your story matters. And I will continue sharing our story to help break the silence. 

Photo credit: Cathy Hartman, co-leader of the Tears Foundation of Florida, great supporter, friend, and baby loss advocate. Thanks Cathy for the inspiration. 

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