Mother's Day and The Little Black Dress
Four years ago, my first Mother’s Day was spent picking out a black dress to wear to my sons funeral. His name was Zachary, he was our first born and his burial was the day after mother’s day. I was a first time mom, recovering from an emergency c-section, stumbling through stores trying to find a black dress in the spring time. Something, anything, that would fit my new postpartum body.
As horrific as those words are to read and relive, I am in awe of what we can survive. I picture myself standing over my sons tiny casket and nothing left in this world scares me. When everything has been stripped away and our whole world is shattered, somehow… our hearts keep beating. Somehow we fight through the minutes until the colour of life returns. We stumble in a fog through the pain towards hope and eventually joy. To me, buying that little black dress was almost as profound as the funeral itself, if that even makes sense. It marked a new chapter, a new skin, a new life and identity as a mother, and entrance into a baby loss community I never ever wanted to belong to. The dress fit horribly and so has much of my identity as an invisible mother these past 4 years.
When my husband and I were dating, we did the typical thing so many others do— planned our lives. Now I laugh at the sheer naivety of it, but for some, their lives have managed to click along to their “plan,” and some are even so bold to think that’s why it has done so. We figured we’d enjoy at least two years of marriage just the two us, before we had kids. So that’s what we did. We never imagined this road. Now being married nearly 8 years and our hearts full but arms empty, the lessons learned have come at a cost I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The funny thing about life is that it unfolds the way it’s meant to unfold, with or without our plans.
This past week on May 03, marked Zachary’s birthday. He’d be four. The day he was born and died all wrapped into one. Despite what people assume about child loss, it doesn’t some how magically just get better with time. It does become more predictable…. you begin to learn your triggers, what hurts in the seasons, what things to push yourself through or avoid… but the actual gaping hole remains. From the outside, we look fairly normal. We work hard, have interesting jobs, we are passionate about life, we love to laugh and travel, we live on a street lined with houses with children pouring out from them. Yet our yard is empty. We never planned or imagined this road, and here we are. This is our life. I have searched very hard to savour and find the beauty in the mess of it all. What right do I have to hate this life when so many (including my son) fought for their minutes on this earth or are denied time.
Simply put, life demands gratitude.
Why am I sharing all this? Well, the last thing I want is your pity or for you to think of us as victims to some tragedy. Please never view Zachary’s story that way, because if you do, you have missed everything. Everything. Yes, losing him is something that is hard every single day, but his life and everything it brought us is a gift. We are better people as his parents, because of what we’ve lived through. That’s not to tie this story with a pretty bow to make you more comfortable, it’s just the truth that somehow there is beauty even despite of his death. Unfortunately in this pain-avoidance culture, that is focused on the appearance of everything— some get stuck on his DEATH, and miss the beauty, importance and impact of his LIFE.
As much as I started my company to create beautiful jewelry, I continue to work as hard as I do, because I am propelled by something bigger than myself. I plan to have lasting impact with KV Bijou. I plan to use it in a way that unites, inspires and encourages women. Even though I love “beauty” and creating things pleasing to the eye, I am aware the true beauty of this life is in the depth of it. I don’t care to be another person on social media, talking about things that don’t actually matter, or making other women feel inferior by acting like I have it all together. I really don’t. But who actually does? None of us! I've grown okay with people being uncomfortable with our journey, heck at times I am too. But I won't change myself or voice to what others expect of me. I believe we should respect joy and grief equally and be united in both. I want to start meaningful conversations and ripples of influence beyond rings and necklaces. I want to use my voice for the things that matter. I hope you’ll join me!
To celebrate Zachary and make this Mother’s Day gentler on those who are hurting today… I want to gift 4 new tiny Zachary Necklaces. Four necklaces, for four years. This necklace was one of the first pieces I designed after becoming a mom and was inspired by my son.
I love all mothers of all types, but I want to focus on those who like myself, mother between heaven and earth. So with that in mind, feel free to hit the comments and speak the names of those children who wont be writing hand-written cards today. I want to hear their names. I want to hear about their courageous moms. Share as much as you're comfortable.
We’ll randomly select 4 brave moms from the comments below. And please... don't ever be afraid to speak about the life of my son. This life I'm leading is my love story to his legacy.
[follow us on bloglovin] // photo credits: maternity pics: Revival Arts, product photo: Iulia Agnew, all other photos are personal