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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

for one and all > Five years

It was five years ago today that I learned my daughter, Anja, had died. She was born on the 14th of January, 2012. I remember my first post to glow in the woods was on the 5-week anniversary of her birth. I could not imagine then that there could be such as a thing as a five-YEAR anniversary. I went to the cemetery today with a friend whose baby boy died five years ago this month, too. There's a memorial garden at this cemetery dedicated to babies who were stillborn or died shortly after birth in the 30s - 60s, mostly, babies who were not really acknowledged then (documentary available here: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2155909529) but who were memorialized in 2006 through the placing of stones in a little creek bed. We have an unusual amount of snow this year - usually we have none! - and my friend and I spent some time uncovering stones from the snow, reading the names of these little babies who died 50 or 60 years ago. It was one of the first times - in five years of anniversaries - that I ever felt good about how I was spending my time. It felt right to uncover those names, a few of them at least, and to think about who those babies might have been, to think how much they have been missed.

Tonight I'm thinking of how much has changed in five years and how much is the same. How much I will always miss her. I wonder if there are any of you out there reading who were here so often five years ago...I think about your babies often, Grace, Eva, Nathaniel, Saersha, Marlo, Henry, Freddie, Coral, Anton, Georgina, Emily, Little Sun, Ellis, Miller, Stefan, Caleb, Charlotte, so many sweet babies. As I sit here tonight, remembering my girl, I remember yours, too. More babies than I can name, but all so loved, and missed so very much.
I am still here, JLD. Not as often, but still drawn to this place. Chiara's anniversary is in August, and I can't believe it will be five years. I find most often I feel like Julia's recent poem from the front page. Grief is so familiar a companion it doesn't knock. But when my whirling brain actually stops and absorbs the magnitude of our loss, I rage sometimes, or crumple others. Five years. Thinking of you and Anja at this time. Take good care.
January 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAurelia
What a special place this is that five years out, you still remember one another. It's just been 5 months since our Evelyn was born and then passed (well, 5 months on Sunday and Monday) and it does my shattered heart good to know that you continue to hold one another close in memory. No one should have to seek shelter here, this place for parents who have lost their children, but thank goodness such a refuge exists. Because the reality is (as we know all too well), not every child makes it home. No matter how much they are wanted, no matter how unfair the circumstances, no matter how long you've been trying to build a family or add to your family...the unfathomable still happens. Your children are in my heart.
January 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
Aurelia - hello! I check your blog to see what you are up to, though I know, like me, you don't update there often anymore. I've felt so supported by your comments and friendship during these years, and Chiara is one of the babies in Anja's 'cohort' who I will always remember - imagine: they would be going to kindergarten this year... I think of Chiara at Christmas especially because I like to imagine her stocking full of pink carnations in your home of boys. These babies all have a place in my heart - there is something so incredible about the connections we make here and through our blogs and it gives me such real relief to know that someone, somewhere remembers Anja, thinks of her, knows her name. I hope you get some of that relief, too.

Melissa, Evelyn is a beautiful name. I remember five months was really, really hard for me. Sending love to you; I'm glad you found this place.
I'm still reading. I pop in from time and time, writing and deleting comments.But this is one I won't delete!

I remember your Anja.I can't quite believe five years have passed since she died. Your description of the cemetery in the snow was beautiful, I'm glad you found somewhere that felt a 'good' way to spend your time and the right place to be on such a difficult day.

Sending love to you and remembering Anja on her birthday, it has just turned the 14th as I write this comment here in the UK.
January 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine
JLD, remembering Anja and all the other sweet babies who never made it home or weren't meant to stay home...
It'll be 5 years since we lost R this coming Sunday. I really don't have the right words, but all I can say is that I'm sorry for each baby whose story we read on this forum, but I'm also grateful that the forum exists and we could come here and share our losses and remember each others' babies.
Sending you love.
January 18, 2017 | Unregistered Commentereyr