What Should Be

Right about now, I should be planning a bash for a 4 year old, wavy haired little boy. I should be hiding gifts and making party favors for his little friends. I should have Nick Jr. program songs in my head and know all about the many new Disney movies and their interesting characters. I should be attending the family festivities in my community. It’s summertime. I should be taking our boy out to play in the sun and water. We should be adventuring like a family. He should be here with us.

Right about now I am thinking about our lease expiring and having to move on Jasper’s birthday. I’m making seed packets to give away at a remembrance event for grieving parents. The house is not filled with the sounds of fun tv shows or a laughing little boy. We sit here in the quiet and work til the day is done. We sit inside with the curtains drawn. No adventures are happening like they should have.

Well wishers tell us well wishing things… encouraging us to “move on, move past, get over” our son. Well wishers get out their well wishing silver markers and draw the lines all over it… “at least you did not bring him home, at least you did not really know him.” We’ve heard it all. We know how hard it must be for the outsiders to look at us, our lives void of meaning. So depressing isn’t it? Must be really hard for them to see us that way.

I would not go so far as to say that our lives are void of meaning. I can not show my son the world the way that I wanted to but I can show the world my son. I will never stop talking about him. I will never stop raising awareness for research. I will never stop raising awareness for grieving parents. I will never stop saying his name.

I know that the way my grief presents itself can be uncomfortable for people and all I can say is that I’m sorry that they feel that way. I will not be bullied or grief shamed into changing or pretending to make things easier for everyone else.

Right now, I should be planning a bash for my 4 year old son, Jasper, on his 4th birthday. We should be writing invitations and planning birthday games.

Instead, I’m making seed packets for a remembrance event in support of grieving parents. And… I am writing this. This is not how it should be.

Amber Smiley

Amber Smiley

Amber met Chris when she was in high school and married him as soon as she could at the age of 18. She was certain that she wanted children right away but that was not how things were going to work out. They lived in Las Vegas for over 10 years before they finally became pregnant via intervention and plenty of patience. Jasper’s heart stopped at 40 weeks and that was the beginning of what has become a sometimes brutal and sometimes hopeful, new way of life.
They knew they wanted more children and have since suffered many early miscarriages during the process of multiple IVF and IUI cycles which have left them with broken hearts.Feeling defeated and alone, the bereaved parents moved to Connecticut in search of a much needed new start.

Amber was inspired to work towards becoming a therapist during her process of trying to find support after her loss. She is currently a freelance graphic designer, artist and marriage and family therapy graduate student. She takes comfort in the idea that their son was a driving force for her to help other people through a time that she and her husband felt so alone.
Amber Smiley

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Amber met Chris when she was in high school and married him as soon as she could at the age of 18. She was certain that she wanted children right away but that was not how things were going to work out. They lived in Las Vegas for over 10 years before they finally became pregnant via intervention and plenty of patience. Jasper’s heart stopped at 40 weeks and that was the beginning of what has become a sometimes brutal and sometimes hopeful, new way of life. They knew they wanted more children and have since suffered many early miscarriages during the process of multiple IVF and IUI cycles which have left them with broken hearts. Feeling defeated and alone, the bereaved parents moved to Connecticut in search of a much needed new start. Amber was inspired to work towards becoming a therapist during her process of trying to find support after her loss. She is currently a freelance graphic designer, artist and marriage and family therapy graduate student. She takes comfort in the idea that their son was a driving force for her to help other people through a time that she and her husband felt so alone.

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