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glow in the woods

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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 > Her is Annabelle

I know it's uncomfortable for you to talk about. I know its awkward. Maybe you think since I came here, I'm not doing that bad. I overheard your conversation, and I know you didn't mean anything mean about it.

But she's your niece. She's your granddaughter. She is my daughter and your son's daughter and her death is the first time I have ever seen your son cry. WHY AREN'T YOU ASKING ABOUT HER?!?!?

She is not "with everything that's been going on this week", her name is Annabelle Nienna. Acknowledge her! She lived! She existed! She was only here for 46 minutes, but she has a birth certificate, a death certificate, a social security number for God's sake! Acknowledge that there is something wrong with that that I am no longer pregnant and I should be! Stop acting like it never happened. Ask about her!

I want to share how she was so perfect. I wanna share that I picked her name for the flowers that grow all around town and the poem that I have loved for ages. That her dad picked her middle name and it's from Lord of the Ring. That Nienna is the goddess of grief and sorrow. That her story is one of comforting the grieving and helping them get through the pain.

Ask if you can help. I'm drowning in sorrow and struggling. I still have another child to care for.

She is not "everything that's been going on". She is my daughter, her name is Annabelle. and part of me is dying.
April 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJennie
I was at a family gathering today and felt the way you describe. I now want to get my child’s name tattooed on my face so that people will ask about him.
I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet daughter Annabelle, and for your and your husband’s heartbreak.
April 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria
Victoria, same situation. Easter gathering on my husband's side of the family. I thought it would be nice to see them and that my in-laws would understand since they lost their first daughter. Instead, they are treating the same way that my MIL said she hated; ignoring it, and it stings even more knowing that they know what we're going through and they still picked this path.

I am getting a tattoo for my daughter. On my arm, it's the closest I'll get to being able to hold her in them. And people will see that she was here, she left something. She changed me.
April 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJennie
Neither my mum, dad or sister said anything to me about what would have been Maria-Rose's 9 month mark. Even those who do remember at first still end up forgetting.
April 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMachaela
I think this is one of the most dificult parts of life as a bereaved parent. People just dont know how to talk about your baby, and I even find myself using words to make others comfortable. "after the year i've had..." When I want to say "since my son August died, and I have been grieving...." I hope you can find the voice to talk about Anabelle, even if it makes other uncomfortble and the right people to share her story and pictures with. I am learning not to be hard on myself... not everyone is the right audience and if they arent, I make space to find the right people to share my story and feelings with. At christmas I found it difficult to find the right words to honour August with my inlaws. They lit a candle but didnt say anything and I hated that! I know that I will have to plan ahead for next year to take control of how I want to talk about him at those big family celecbrations. But its all a learning process...

Im thinking of Maria Rose and Annabelle Nienna (what beautiful names!) and all of you, sending love.
April 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle
Agree so much.
I was shocked when at the first time seeing much of my family after his death no one mentioned him. No one asked how I was holding up. I later complained to my mother about this and she said that people "just don't know what to say." That is part of it I suppose but they could say something. And then, at last, a friend actually asked how I was getting along after his death but I guess she didn't want to hear because she interrupted and changed the subject just as soon as I started to reply. More examples of others' insensitivity towards my loss have only mounted over the years. People act like he doesn't count because he's dead and only lived for a short time. He counts a lot to me. I'm five years on and he will always count a lot to me. I don't talk about him much to anyone though. Just hide a big part of me from the world, I guess. Really glad to have glow or I might have gone completely insane.
May 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEm