Ten Years Later

In Honor of DrewAnne Lillie

By Ayliea

March 30, 2015, I woke up thinking about today. In truth, I've been thinking about it for a few days, wondering what I should write today. Not because I am torn by grief - but quite the opposite. I am at peace. I didn't wake up crying. I didn't feel the usual ache in my chest or gut-wrenching loss that I used to feel. Yesterday was the third anniversary of the death of my fur-baby Kessie, and yesterday I felt grief for her loss, so I thought today might be difficult. This morning, I feel - peace.

Does that mean I'm "Healed?" To be honest, I just don't know. I feel entirely at peace with DrewAnne's loss. I feel genuinely blessed to have been able to carry her for close to 19 weeks. I feel honored that her brief existence gave me a reason to be part of the a "Heartbreaking Choice" forums and the website. I feel privileged and fortunate to be involved in the continuation of this resource for women (and men) that have made this Heartbreaking Choice. I do feel a fleeting sadness that I will never have a living child of my own, but that is a different kind of loss. The pain I feel at never having a living child is something that will always be with me, but is not something that defines me - at least not any more.

The truth is that our losses are painful and truly heartbreaking. However, our losses don't characterize who we are. They tend to make us think differently about life, love and truly about what it means to be happy, but our choices to let our children go don't determine our lives. It's the choices we make AFTER our losses and how we live our lives, how we honor and memorialize our children and how we shape our new "Normal" lives because of this grief. But the grief won't consume you, unless you let it. Don't let it!

I know how difficult that is in the first days, weeks, months and yes, even years - but after a couple of years, especially if you are able to go on to have a living child, the grief lessens. We NEVER forget our children, but we DO learn to move forward with our lives and and to make the best of our lives. In this - making the best of my life after choosing to let DrewAnne go, I truly believe that I have succeeded.

For my daughter DrewAnne Lillie - you are loved and honored. You will always be in my heart and a part of my soul. Thank you for making me a better person.

I'm sorry it took so long.

"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love."
~Washington Irving

Ayliea Holl is a contributor to the award winning book Our Heartbreaking Choices: Forty-Six Women Share Their Stories of Interrupting a Much-Wanted Pregnancy, published 2008 by IUniverse www.ourheartbreakingchoices.com, and is the Lead Adminstrator for the Heartbreaking Choice Discussion forums.


Books on Loss and Grief

Our Heartbreaking Choices: Forty-Six Women Share Their Stories of Interrupting a Much-Wanted Pregnancy

The Dive :: A Memoir

A Time to Decide a Time to Heal: For Parents Making Difficult Decisions About Babies They Love

Precious Lives Painful Choices: A Prenatal Decision-Making Guide

Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart, Revised Edition: Surviving the Death of Your Baby

Empty Arms: Coping With Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death

A Silent Sorrow: Pregnancy Loss

Unspeakable Losses: Healing From Miscarriage, Abortion, And Other Pregnancy Loss

Surviving Pregnancy Loss: A Complete Sourcebook for Women and Their Families

Difficult Decisions: For Families Whose Unborn Baby Has a Serious Problem

Books for Fathers, Family, Children and Friends

Couple Communication After a Baby Dies: Differing Perspectives

For Better or Worse: For Couples Whose Child Has Died

How to Say it When You Don't Know What to Say: The Right Words For Difficult Times

A Guide For Fathers: When A Baby Dies

When Your Friend's Child Dies: A Guide to Being a Thoughtful and Caring Friend

When Pregnancy Fails: Families Coping with Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death

What You Can Say When You Don't Know What to Say: Reaching Out to Those Who Hurt

Books about Trying Again and Pregnancy after Loss

Journeys: Stories of Pregnancy After Loss

Trying Again: A Guide to Pregnancy After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss

Pregnancy After a Loss: A Guide to Pregnancy After a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death