I will be honest, for the longest time I didn’t really understand when people gave names to very early losses. I think I thought it would compound their sadness, make their loss bigger than it was, make it more, somehow.
I didn’t come to name my first loss deliberately. It kind of just, happened. And to my utmost surprise, I’m incredibly thankful that it did.
It was a song that did it. A song that I have always loved and I still listen to, from time to time, when I’m feeling melancholy. At some point I realized the song reminded me of the baby I lost, of that first pregnancy that broke something inside me, physically and emotionally.
In the song is a name. And over time that name became the name of my first baby. I worried, even as it was happening, that it would reopen an old wound, rendering the hurt it deeper and more profound. I was surprised to find the opposite was true. The name gave me comfort and a recognition of what I lost that I didn’t realize I needed.
At the beach a few weekends ago I wrote her name in the sand and watched as it was washed away. She may have been erased from this world, but she will never be erased from my heart.
How do you honor and remember what could have been?