"Valerie's Story" (9/03)
"Remembering and honoring Julianna's first birthday/anniverary with a gift in her memory" by Kevin (1/11/04)
My due date was still more than two weeks away, when one of my neighbors came bouncing across the lawn with a beautiful package for the arrival to be. I remember wincing, with something in the back of my mind always nagging me, wondering if this baby would be ok. But, it was thoughtful and caring on the part of my neighbor and most of my family and friends had treated my pregnancy as a non-event, given that this was to be my third child.
The gift was very generous: a sweet little outfit with a matching bib, booties and blanket. Although the colors of the outfit were gender neutral, it somehow screamed out GIRL to me. I winced again (how I would love a girl, but I still have a sinking feeling about this pregnancy )
My precious daughter, Megan, was stillborn three weeks after I opened the neighbor's gift. After losing her, there were many logistics to deal with, including what do I do with that gift?? My neighbor did not want the gift back; she didn't know what to say or do regarding the gift. I couldn't return it. If it were returned, wouldn't that be acting as if my child did not exist? My child did exist! It was all terribly awkward.
There were many things which I clung to in desperation and held near to my heart after losing Megan, but this outfit somehow signified my anger and outrage. This cute little outfit was meant for a live, active, moving child - my child. Why wasn't my little girl here to wear it? Why was this so unfair? Would I ever have another baby to hold who could wear the outfit? Who knew. Would I even want a new baby to wear something destined for Megan? Probably not. Why, God, am I having to deal with any of this at all?
As I began my path of grief and became involved with SHARE Atlanta, I decided to donate the gift to another family who hopefully needed and wanted it. Somehow, that simple act brought me a lot of peace. I freed myself of the object which was just too poignant of a reminder to keep in my house.
Perhaps in some small way I felt that Megan lived on because I had given something of hers to a living child - something of hers which was tangible, and meant for this earth even though she could not be here. Perhaps it was as simple as passing on the kindness my neighbor had extended to me, in hopes that someday my soul would again feel generous, kind-hearted, and alive.Valerie is our Outreach for Healing Coordinator, this is her email
We would love for you to include our new announcement about Jacqueline's birth in the newsletter. I really hope that this provides hope to other people whom have suffered as us (Hence Jaqueline's middle name -)
I also wanted to ask you a question. Juliana's birthday is coming up and we want to remember it. Lori was telling me that Share takes donations from people and purchase gifts for other needy children. Can you provide more info on that? I really want to do something to help other children in her honor.
When we were about to go into the OR, I did hear that they were bringing in another woman who was to deliver at 24 weeks (same as us) -- keep your prayers out there for them. Warmest regards, KevinKevin and Lori
Jacqueline Hope Hamada by Kevin and Lori (1/411/04) New Arrivals
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