When will people get it through their heads that I will not be silenced?
I refuse to tell you his was my first pregnancy when it was not–doctors offices can fix their forms to include stillborn babies, because I will not chose a box that doesn’t embody my reality.
I refuse to tell you I have one child when I don’t. I also refuse to tell you I have a dead baby, because she is very much alive in another dimension.
I refuse to be ashamed to have a teddy bear in all of our family photos. I sleep and travel with her bear sometimes, and it facilitates sibling bonding with my children in the way I’m allotted.
I refuse to fail to mention my child to make you comfortable.
I refuse to hide her perfect, beautiful pictures because you can’t appreciate my portion in motherhood.
I refuse to look at signs from her as just a happenstance.
I refuse to abandon the bereaved community that was there for me better than I could be for myself, all because I got my “happy ending.”
I refuse to let an outsider judge my deep intricate grief process at face value–if you have something negative to say, or even think, I refuse to care.
I refuse to forfeit the honor of commemorating my daughter.
Don’t expect it.
Don’t challenge it.
Don’t question it.
And thank God you don’t have to understand it.
I really try to have a gracious tone, but I hear the little comments and I see the facial expressions, and every once in a while, I just have to remind myself and everyone else that mothering a child in heaven is a process not to be judged. It’s to be observed.
Genuine questions are welcomed. Saying Joislen’s name is celebrated. And remembering her with me is cherished.
But one thing I refuse to do is forget my daughter, for you.