My first blog -Where to start?

I’ve had the ability to blog on my website for a couple of weeks now and as you can see, I’ve now spent a couple of weeks overthinking what to write.  I’m not overthinking it because I’m a perfectionist (although I am), but I want to make Harper proud as I share our past, present and future journey.  If I don’t just start writing, then I never will….so here goes!

My name is Jamie…I’m Harper’s mom.  I don’t get to say that everyday, because, well…talking about your deceased child makes people uncomfortable.  So, when I’m asked how many children I have, I don’t always know how to answer.  Sometimes I say two….Taylor and Drew, who are 12 and 11.  The guilt that consumes my body for not including Harper is numbing, as if I’m a terrible mother for denying the existence of my sweet daughter.  And then there are other occasions when I say that I have three children, but one passed away almost two years ago;  I then wonder if that person thinks I included Harper because I want sympathy or attention.  The conversation after that is always predictable.  They say they are so sorry and apologize for asking and they are sorry for my loss….I respond with “it’s ok”.  Losing a child is not ok, yet, I then find myself trying to ensure they don’t feel bad for upsetting me or hurting my feelings.  I lose any way I answer that question….and I’m asked multiple times a week.

While it’s hard for me, I can’t possibly imagine how it feels for Harper’s brother and sister. I have heard them asked, separately, if they have any brothers or sisters.  I can see their hesitation as Drew says he has an older sister and Taylor shares that she has a little brother.  They are 11 and 12…how do they explain they both have a little sister but she died.  The Harper’s Love logo is a drawing of the dress that Harper wore at her memorial service.  Drew wore his Harper’s Love shirt to school once and then would not wear it for a very long time.  He shared with me that a boy at school made fun of him and asked him why he was wearing a shirt with a dress on it.  The boy asked him multiple times throughout the day and Drew just tried to ignore him.  When I heard of this, I told Drew to let them know next time that “it’s the dress your sister wore for her funeral”.  He looked at me, shook his head, and said “no mom, I can’t say that”.  Of course he can’t..he’s 11….how does he possibly explain what happened to Harper when he likely still doesn’t comprehend everything that happened.  Plus, what 11 year old, wants to stand out and give other kids something to talk about?

I’m sure you’ve heard people say that you don’t get an instruction manual on parenting after you have children.  Well, there also isn’t an instruction manual for how to live after the death of a child.  Just like parenting advice doesn’t work the same for everyone, how each mother grieves the loss of a child is different.  Sometimes I include Harper in a conversation that makes everyone uncomfortable.  Sometimes I think I’m strong enough to support friends/family and attend a baby shower, only I then find myself standing in the back of the room so that no one sees me crying and then I’m the first one to leave.  I smile, laugh, support other people and really it’s only to mask the crippling pain I carry with me every day.

I can’t speak on behalf of every grieving mom, but for some of us, at the end of the day, you might reflect on what a strong, brave woman you met; however, we lay our heads down at night with an emptiness in our heart, a feeling of guilt in the pit of our stomach and a longing for the day we get to see, hold and hug our baby again.

6 Comments
  1. Jamie-I love this. It gives raw perspective on feelings I sure can’t relate with. Just know that I always love to hear of Harper. And your kids are amazing big hearted kids no doubt. I saw it in Drew a short time just yesterday. Life does not have an instruction manual, but you sure are rocking it. Blogging does help! I’ve got a personal one myself. 💓

  2. Thank you for sharing this with us! I think of your family often. ❤️❤️❤️

  3. Jamie- great blog. I too lost a Daughter and words can’t describe the feelings I have for the loss.
    My heart goes out to you. I cried when I saw your photo holding your niece who is just a few
    months older than Harper . I know the emotions you felt: loss and love of the little one you had
    in your arms. I think of Harper often.
    Thank you for sharing with us. You are doing a great job with Taylor and Drew.

  4. I wish I could give you a big hug! I can’t even begin to imagine your pain or trying to go on with life after losing a child. Harper was a miracle. I have another dear friend who lost her baby a couple weeks after giving birth. She always says she is the mother of 3 girls. If asked more questions she says Belle is an angel now protecting them. I think this blog is good for you and all of your friends. We miss your family!!!

  5. Love carries a huge load. It’s ok to say just a simple thank you when some one says they are sorry for your loss, no explanation is necessary.

  6. You don’t know me. I worked for a brief time with your sister. I started following Harper’s journey shortly after her birth. I just wanted to let you know that I think about Harper often. I remember all your beautiful posts and cried with you when she gained her wings. I admire your strength to carry on and honor Harper.
    I wish you all the best!

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