Transforming After Loss
It’s been 3 years since my daughter Alana was stillborn at 32 weeks gestation due to an acute total placental abruption that literally ripped her away from me.
There are days when it feels like time is frozen in that moment. I can still picture her beautiful face. Her sweet chubby cheeks. Her long legs and arms. Her soft curly black hair. Her cute tiny fingers and toes. She was perfect.
Too Perfect for Earth
There are also days when it feels like time has gone too fast. As each day passes, I get further away from that day and the only time I will ever have to hold my baby girl’s physical body in my arms.
Life’s not fair.
My Baby Should Be Here
If I could reverse time and “save” her, believe me, I would. But, sadly, there is nothing I can do to bring her back. For months after Alana’s death, I fantasized about dying. I longed to be with her in heaven. But my two living boys needed their mommy on earth. I chose to live.
I Chose to Live Better
When Alana died, it felt like my life had shattered into a million pieces. I have since learned that when your life falls apart, you have the incredible opportunity to choose which pieces you want to pick up and how you want to put them together. I am not the same person I was before my baby girl died.
I Am Transforming After Loss
I have a greater appreciation for life and what really matters. I am more empathetic to those around me who are hurting. I practice self-care and prioritize my mental health. I make more time for my family because I know how precious that time is.
I Am a Better Person Because of My Daughter
For that, I am grateful.
After 3 years, the pain of losing my daughter has evolved from the initial sharp stabbing pain to a constant ache. I have learned to integrate my grief into my life. I embrace the duality of emotions that exist – feeling blessed and broken. I speak Alana’s name daily. I pray for her each night. I kiss her photo that sits on my bookcase in my office. I snuggle with my “Alana Bear” and give it a squeeze so I can listen to her recorded heartbeat. I wear my “Alana Bracelet” and a locket with a tiny photo of her. My hair has purple highlights and I surround myself with purple butterflies to remember her. I planted a butterfly garden in our backyard where I sit on my butterfly shaped bench and talk to her. We visit her grave each week as a family. We bring her roses and play her a special song.
Not How I Envisioned Being Her Mother
It’s not how I envisioned being her mother, but it’s the best way I know how to care for her.
The work of the Alana Rose Foundation has been so healing for me and my entire family. I am grateful that we have been able to turn pain into purpose. We are working hard to reduce the stigma around grief and loss and raise awareness so that no one feels alone. We envision a world where all families who experience pregnancy and infant loss receive the love and support they need throughout their grief journey so they may, ultimately, be transformed by their experience in a way that promotes hope and healing.
Thank you for helping to support our mission.
Together, we are transforming families after loss.
Submitted by Alana's mom - Kim Whitmore