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Beth's Grief Journal
In Memory of Alyssa Kaye Bradford
July 12, 2000 ~ August 10, 2000

Entry #2, November 10, 2000
~ Anger and Fear

It's been three months today since Alyssa died. I can't believe it. Each second that clock keeps ticking, the further I am away from my beautiful daughter. I try to hold on to the memories, try to recite those memories in my head, because I am too scared I will forget them. I already am. Thankfully I took four rolls of film of her within the 29 days of her life. I clutch at them, and look at her sweet innocent face wondering how such a cruel thing could happen to this sweet baby?

Nighttime is the worst, particularly last night. I prayed to God "Please let me sleep through tonight; I don't want to wake up at 1:30am or any time after that, because Lord I will freak out!" 1:30 in the morning, the last time I fed her three months ago. And any time after that, because she died sometime between 2am and 6am.

Of course I woke right at 1:30am, and I freaked. Running into Kyle's room, I had to make sure he was breathing. He was fine. But there was an eerie presence in the house. Or maybe I was just going crazy last night. Then I woke at 4am. Then at 5:30am. Then at 7am to Kyle jumping all over me! I didn't care at all, because I was just glad he had woken before me.

What a horrible day! Steven had to work today; thankfully I didn't. But he is so sad today; his eyes look so empty. Since the reality of her death has fixed itself into our hearts and minds, the pain has worsened somewhat. Thoughts and empty dreams play on our minds constantly:

Kyle is forced to be alone now! This is totally unfair. I'll never see my wonderful daughter get married; I'll never see her running around like that little girl. She will never experience this incredibly beautiful world! Why can't that mother treat her baby right? Why does she scream and yell at the tiny baby!

I don't want any more children, at least not yet. I can't imagine ever being pregnant again. I am not prepared to live through that fear that my baby won't be waking up tomorrow, and being scared to walk into the baby's nursery only to find him/her dead. Of course with all the precautions I took with Alyssa, it would be highly unlikely to happen. And some of you may think it would be unfair of me to make that decision for the sake of Kyle. But I am in no shape to be having children yet.

Steven would like more children eventually, and perhaps in years to come I may want to as well. Who knows . . . these emotions are too severe to be making that decision. But for those of you, who have lost a child, may feel totally different. And that's fine! As I have noticed, we all grieve individually, and have different needs. Don't let anyone tell you that you "Must have another child straight away" (after your miscarriage or pre/post neonatal death). They think it will fill that void, make you feel a little more 'complete', or take away your grief. Only time can offer acceptance and healing. Some may think that when you fall pregnant not long after birth that you are trying to replace the child you lost. It isn't the case. You do what you need to do.

As you have probably noticed, I am a little angry in this entry. I let it come because it's apart of the grief. One thing that really ticks me off is someone who says "It must have been God's will" or "Everything happens for a reason" or "You can always have another, you're so fertile!" Of course, they mean it with the best of intentions, and I am not trying to have a go at anyone who does this! I did it myself when a friend of mine had a miscarriage. I thought if I give an answer it would make her feel so much better and comforted. And the people who say these statements are only trying to help. So I don't get angry with them. I just smile and say "Yeah perhaps". But I don't want an answer! I just want comfort, a shoulder to cry on, a loving hug, an ear, and not a voice that interrupts me with their personal problems.

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What I am asking for seems very little to a person who is watching their relative or friend go through this grief. My mother, as I said in the last entry, felt so helpless, but little did she know she just did so much!!! She just let me talk about Alyssa constantly, and just smiled and cried and hugged me. She did my washing, my dishes, looked after Kyle, and made frozen dinners when she had to go home. I couldn't have asked for anything more! It was such a blessing.

I miss her in my arms. That soft warm bundle, the windy smile . . . I miss it all. I would do anything to have it all back.

Alyssa is resting at home with us. She was cremated and placed in a pewter box that is engraved with her full name and dates. I go in there, and it's so wonderfully therapeutic. Last night I sat there crying over the urn. The urn is cold and hard, when she was just the opposite. The day she died, she was so terribly cold. I kept wrapping blankets around her to warm her, but she just got colder. Those thoughts are so scary. They keep running through my mind like a broken record, over and over again. I remember my sister-in-law coming in and cradling her up so tight and rocking her with tears streaming down her face. I will never forget that.

I remember having to say goodbye to her. I just didn't want to leave. She was my baby so there was no way she was going to some cold room to be hurt. Those horrible memories stick in my brain, even more so then the good memories. I am hoping that the good ones take over the bad; I am sure they will eventually. I can't stop crying. I let it out because somehow it has to help push me toward the healing and acceptance stage eventually. If I don't cry today, and hold back, it will only come another day. Each day I cry, I try to imagine that it's a stepping-stone to the healing.

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