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My second child and our first daughter, Camille, died and was born on June, 30 2011 when I was full term at 38 weeks pregnant. I gave birth to my rainbow baby, a second daughter, on August 31, 2012. This is me trying to figure out how to be a mother to my living son and daughter and function in society after our tragic loss.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's Christmas

It's Christmas...Our 3rd with Kai, our second without Camille and our first with Harlow. We have done a lot of things this month to try and make the holiday special. I think part of it is actually that I am thankful for the distraction, something to take my mind off the sadness on the inside of my bubble along with all the happy and joy and merriment.
It all swirls around like a snow globe: each flake a different emotion... drifting, settling, shooken and than falling again together.

I was not sure what to do about the stockings. Camille doesn't have one, I didn't buy one for Harlow...I guess I felt like it would be incomplete regardless of what was hanging. I got all panicky about it close to Christmas but still 3 stockings hang there looking very incomplete. I think it is the physical representation glaringly obvious at the center of the room that makes the stocking conundrum so precarious....because who really cares about a stocking right? I didn't hang them last year and I didn't hang them this year...Daryl did. So I figure ~like a cat behind a curtain with my tail and feet sticking out, if I can't see you, you can't see me...haha. If I just do nothing about the stockings they will just go away. My action was in-action. Way to avoid huh?

I wish I was buying presents for two little girls, but I am not.
I wish I was hugging three children, but I am not.
I walk past Camille's photograph
I stop and walk back.
The little votive candle is flickering
          but seems kind of dim in the day time.
The two little plastic poinsettias sit at the base of her ashes.
The sand tree from Australia is printed smaller than I wanted unframed near the back of the shelf. I got the photo too late to print and frame it the way I had hoped
...I guess there is next year.
She will still be dead
Same photo, same ashes, same ache and longing.
I am holding Harlow, she is trying to fall asleep, I rock back and forth and look at my other daughter who I can not hold.
Tears and that throaty feeling well up.
I say to her "I love you, I have not forgotten you. I wish you were here, I am so sorry"
The apology always seems to be necessary
I don't know if it is a statement of missing or a request for forgiveness
...probably both.
It seems odd for us to be all alive and her to be dead.
It still surprises me that I have a dead child.
It is so unfair...especially to her. She is missing out on her whole life.

There is a lot of joy in the house today. Kai said it was "present land". He is thrilled with all the gifts and I am pretty sure he is hooked on the holiday and the elves and Santa. I smile at him. I love that he can believe in fantasy. Just as he can believe that a mouse may ride a motorcycle. It is magical and fleeting. I enjoy watching his fascination and pure aliveness. We did this last year too, but it was less enjoyable because it was so close to Camille's death.

This year is better because of Harlow, because of time, because grief changes.


I miss her no less, I long for her no less.
I don't want to bring sadness to a happy day so I go upstairs and nurse the baby and think of my other baby who I never got to nurse. I cry a little for her and read some other blogs...try to connect to others who have lost and are missing like I am today.
Today is a good day. I am thankful for a lot, especially my husband and two living children.
Sending love, especially if you are missing too.


  1. The apology...always an apology. Everything I say to Logan ends with an "I am so so sorry". It is so heartbreaking and I agree with everything you say...boy does grief change. Hate that we will always miss, but glad that your son still brings you joy especially on this day. There is something about the magic of Christmas and children, but would be so much better if they could be here too. Missing your Camille with you.

    Hugs to you!!!

  2. Yes, yes, yes...the distraction and the apologies and all of it. Sending warmth and love this Christmas, my dear friend. xo

  3. The stockings have felt important to me. It seems silly, but they had to be just right and then I didn't get to putting them up until yesterday.
    I get the feeling of there is always next year, he will still be dead. I hate it and yet the lack of urgency provides some sense of relief when everything feels so tiring.
    Remembering our babies and wishing they were here to believe in the magic.

  4. Sending love right back at you, Renel. I, too, feel the need to apologize to Anja. Apologize that she is not here while we are, and that we sometimes seem to be failing to honour her properly. But then I wonder what is proper? There is nothing that will bring her back. I am so happy that Kai had a magical day; so did E and that helps bring joy to the day to me, too, but again, it does nothing to bring Anja back. She is always in our hearts, always missed. Just like Camille. Sweet little girls.

  5. What lovely truth you wrote here.

    My mom bought an ornament for Andrew this year and was really upset it didn't arrive on time for Christmas. While I get the same way about things (i.e. having his Carly print framed in time), I still thought to myself...

    There will always be next year. And next year, he'll still be dead.

    "I love you, I have not forgotten you. I wish you were here, I am so sorry."

    Those are such powerful words you wrote. Love to you.

  6. I cant even count how many times ive said im sorry to Jack. I wish it could be different for both of us. Xo to your family and Camille

  7. "It seems odd for us to be all alive and her to be dead.
    It still surprises me that I have a dead child.
    It is so unfair...especially to her. She is missing out on her whole life."

    I still cannot believe it either. And as our lives continue and change - it's that last bit that gets me the most - he missed out on his whole life - everything. Never a birthday, never a Christmas, never a warm cuddle, a frosty nosed kiss, a graduation, a wedding, a child of his own. Nothing. He got nothing. And that's just so overwhelmingly sad.

    Sending you love this Christmas. And thank you for thinking of us - I know I've been quiet. Just not coping particularly well with this Christmas season.


  8. "It still surprised me that I have a dead child." Yes, exactly. I was thinking this, too. Just today.

    Love to you xoxoxo

  9. "I love you, I have not forgotten you. I wish you were here, I am so sorry"

    This is so frigging true. Sorry you died, and this baby girl lived. Sorry I can't mother you the way I wanted to. I'm sorry you didn't get to believe in elves and magic and all that innocence.

    Ugh. Hugs momma.

  10. I know this, too. I have not forgotten her. I can't believe she is dead, and we are alive.

    It's all so effing bizarre.

    Love to you, friend.

  11. Oh Renel, you capture all of this with such beauty, such truth, such grace, and such love.

    love to you, my dear friend. remembering camille. xo

  12. Hello sweet mamma.. what a beautiful post. Yes, yes, yes is what I say- missing so much. This line says it all... "I say to her "I love you, I have not forgotten you. I wish you were here, I am so sorry" "
    Sending you and your family hugs, love and light.. xo

  13. This is so beautiful. It reflects so much of what I have been feeling. I tell my little girl I miss her so often, and sometimes it hits so hard - that I will spend the rest of my life missing her. Missing all those babies gone from us all too soon.


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