A Baby Loss Mom's Response to "How Do You Do It?"

I've gotten the "how do you do it?" question from quite a few people since losing Onyx six weeks ago. Sometimes the question has come from family, friends and strangers who truly cannot fathom how I can wake up each day without my baby. And sometimes the question has come from parents who are just starting the overwhelming journey that is life after loss.

Here is what I can share from my own experience:

Before Onyx I would hear about parents who have lost a child and think "gosh, I don't know how they do it". Now, living through it myself, I know that the answer is THEY JUST DO.

You do what you have to do to survive even though your baby didn't.

It's rough, it's scary, it's overwhelming, but you do what you have to do.

So to the person who is grieving the loss of their baby - 

You can get through this. Should you have to? No, but you will. You WILL get through this.

There's no timeline for grief, so feel what you need to feel and don't apologize for people not understanding it. Don't apologize for your grief making other's uncomfortable. Unfollow that pregnant friend on Facebook. Post about your baby for the 100th time this week. Avoid public places. Cry in front of people. Be angry that your partner is grieving differently. Do what you need to do and feel what you need to feel.

You will always feel the pain that comes with losing a piece of your heart but there will be moments of clarity. I know it doesn't seem like it now but I promise there will be. There will be moments where you feel like you can take a deep breath. There will be moments when you can leave the house, where you can look at yourself in the mirror without being in tears for the next two hours.

You're a baby loss survivor and I know that new identity is hard. I know it's an identity you never thought you'd have, an identity you weren't prepared for, an identity you hate to live with. I know. But you have to keep waking up each day.

You have to survive despite your child not getting the chance to.

To everyone else who just doesn't know how parents do it  -

Onyx deserves a mom who lives in the love not the pain. And that's what I try to do.

I give myself the space to live in the pain because those feelings are valid but I try to not let the pain take over. I try to live in the love more than the pain. And sometimes the pain does take over. It's beyond my control most of the time but I always remind myself to live in the love.

Living in the love means that I take back what was taken from me. Onyx's life was taken from me but I refuse to let my love for him go with it. I refuse to let all of the good things that Onyx could have, should have, would have been, be taken from me, my family and the world. I try to live those good things out FOR him and in honor OF him because he never got the chance to.

How do I do it?

I just do.