The Strength of Sterling
Now that it's been made public I can talk about the final piece to my December Trauma Pie if you will. My niece was pregnant during her medical debacle and lost the baby the day after Christmas. It was a girl. Iris Rose. She miscarried at home and was unable to receive the customary traumatic end of pregnancy care from the hospital. The family, as much as they do care, is not the best and handling emotional trauma especially surrounding pregnancy loss. Having experienced my own loss with the family, I knew this and set out to figure out a way to provide comfort to my niece while respecting everyone else's avoidance and also remaining sensitive about where she was in her unique healing process.
I mulled over it for a while; then my Christmas gift from Hubs arrived. Hubs spoiled me this year and pulled out all the stops. I received a matching Tiffany ring, earrings, and infinity necklace. Opening my Little Blue Box I was giggling and crying and yelling. I couldn't believe it. I was ecstatic, and yet it felt wrong to be celebrating some jewelry in the middle of the pain the rest of the family was going through. That's when it occurred to me: a necklace. My niece needed a necklace to commemorate Baby Iris. So I sat down and found one online. It was perfect. A birth stone charm, angel wing, and tiny baby footprint. I ordered it right away.
For those who have been following along, my niece's medical nightmare did not end with the miscarriage. She ended up back in the hospital for emergency surgery Jan 6th of all days. While she was in surgery the necklace commemorating Iris arrived in my mailbox. I kept it safely snugged away giving my niece time to recover from her surgery and everything else she went through.
She was released from the hospital about a week ago and I was finally able to visit with her yesterday. We talked for several hours about everything that happened and a million other things going on in her life before her medical crisis. The conversation progressed naturally until she brought up the loss on her own. She expressed disappointment that she didn't have the opportunity to receive an urn, and that is when I took my cue and showed her the necklace I bought for her.
As I handed it to her I thought (but I really can't remember if I said it out loud because feels, definitely typed it to her this morning lol) "it's okay to grieve". A simple sentence that holds bucket loads of meaning, and remains simplistic all the same. It reminded me very much of my first sentimental sterling gift many years ago coupled with the sentiment of: "You deserve happiness, Dear." At the time I was too entrenched in the midst of my trauma to really understand the significance of the statement, as in all likelihood my niece is right now too. Still, that simple phrase and tiny piece of sterling gifted to me with the wish of happiness has remained a source of strength as I continue through my life.
I hope that "It's okay to grieve" and this piece of simple sterling will inspire the same strength for my niece as she continues to navigate her life as well.