Surviving Stillbirth: How & Why to Create a Love-Filled Tradition by Amy Miller
Max would have just celebrated his third birthday. He’d be trying to keep up with his big brothers and getting into everything. I think about him daily, about my normal pregnancy, about the days leading up to our loss, and about the moment I learned that his heart wasn’t beating anymore. Nothing can prepare you for pregnancy loss. Although I carried this sweet boy inside of me for seven months, I don’t have any real memories to cling to, only the dreams of what could have been.
Every year as April rolls around, I think about the birthday party I should be planning. In order to bring some positivity to Max’s short life and to give myself an outlet for my grief, I created a tradition for the anniversary of our loss. We call it “Max’s Kindness Day” and spend it doing random acts of kindness. We bake for the fire station, hospital and school. We pick up trash, leave large tips, pay for others’ coffee and ice cream, and donate items to local charities. We also give little cards to the recipients with a brief explanation.
If you struggle with what to do on the anniversary of your loss, I encourage you to try a Kindness Day to honor your baby’s memory. Share your plans with family and friends so that they can participate as well. Bringing joy to others has helped me find a small amount of purpose in losing Max and allows me to associate something positive with his absence.
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