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This is a place for anyone who has felt the loss of a child. Treat this as a communication haven regardless of how or when you felt your loss. My definition of loss: miscarriage at any stage, still birth regardless of week gestation, infant death at any month, and loss of a child even if your child was all grown up. For me they all hold the same root of devestation. None are more profound or more "easily" dealt with than another.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday - Expectations

One of my nearest, dearest friends in the whole world once said to me - "Live without expectations and you will always succeed. You will always feel satisfied, never disappointed."

Fundamentally - it makes sense.

If you expect nothing from your job and do it for the love of the mission, every penny of your salary is like a bonus.

If you expect nothing from your children, every tiny thing they accomplish feels like a huge achievement.

If you expect nothing from your spouse, every kind gesture you receive lifts you up.

Realistically - it's a fallacy.

Existing without expectation, I mean truly living without even an out-of-focus image in your head of what you might like to happen, is not the way most of us experience life. If it were, none of us would have ever felt, the blissful ignorace of pregnancy = forty weeks= healthy screaming baby = up all night feedings = a happily ever after.

Conversely, we would also have escaped the resounding crash that landed the world upside down at our feet, crushing our hearts into bite sized pieces and leaving us there to pick them up.

Ah - expectation: too much of it can de-rail you; too little, and motivation can pass you by.

The trick is to find just the right balance of intrisic desire with acceptance of 'what is' and 'will be'. And, it has been my experience that when you find said balance it often happens that the result blows your 'would-be-expectation' out of the perverbial water.

This was my experience with the memory walk.

My (let’s loosely call them) expectations for this event were:
  • for a just a few more people than our members and their families to come
  • to cover our costs, but not focus on fundraising
  • to raise awareness
  • to educate the community
  • to allow a safe space for inspiration and emotion
  • to affirm parents with empty arms
  • and to make it through singing without crying

The bigger-than-I-ever-imagined-it-to-be reality of the day still brings me to tears.

  1. We had 84 people there. Eighty Four for a first event!
  2. We covered our costs and raised an additional $866.00 – damn.

  3. I am already receiving emails from people who want to donate their services, or heard about the event ‘afterwards’ and want to be involved in the future.

  4. Parents who are 15, 20, 30, and 40 years out from their loss responded that ‘they finally feel like that baby’s mother, father, grandparent..etc.’

A series of perfect moments to be sure.

Thank you Emma Grace for making this all possible. For teaching your earthly mother that there is more to tragedy than pain and sorrow. That beauty comes from emotional growth.
I’m dancing sweet girl – just for you.


Beautiful Mess said...

How sweet and beautiful! You did a wonderful thing. Emma is so very proud of her Mom! Good for you, Cara!

Lori said...

Wow, Cara. That's amazing. I think the word "outpouring" would be appropriate.

Cheers to Emma. And you.

Michelle said...

tHAT IS JUST SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! To hear that people who were up to 40 yrs out from there loss finally feel validated brings a tear to my eye.! Thank you Cara!

She said...

I'm so happy for you that it went so well.

Kristin said...

Oh how wonderful. I am so glad your hard work paid off so wonderfully. I love that you were able to help not only the parents with new losses but the parents who were decades away from the loss.

You rock my friend!

Dora said...

Oh, hon! I'm choked up reading this. So amazing! I really needed to read something good today. xoxo

Dalene said...

I'm glad to hear it was such a success. Great job, Cara.

Brenna said...

Wow, wow, wow!!! What an incredible feeling it must be to have pulled off such a meaningful and successful event. I'm so proud of you!

Amy said...

Amazingly Wonderful, Cara! That is just about the most wonderful thing I have read in a LONG time! Congrats on such a wonderful event!

Cassandra said...

Oh Cara, I'm so happy that it went so wonderfully!

I'm guessing that some people aren't comfortable going to the meetings, perhaps because their loss happened so long ago or because they're uncomfortable focusing on their own emotions, but that they are comfortable showing up to something like the walk -- belonging, and helping others with the same experience.

Even in the face of heartache, kindness and love multiply.

Another Dreamer said...

I am so glad the walk went well!!! That is wonderful.

Lani said...

amazing cara! so proud of you. thank you for including silas, we felt that power on sat and thought of you and everyone walking for all our lost little ones.
lots of love to you cara.

CLC said...

I am glad it went so well and exceeded whatever it was you want to call them! Emma would be so proud!

Kathy said...

Yay! That is so awesome! :) Good for you Cara! So glad that the walk went well! Expectations are such a hard thing... I LOVED what you said to Emma at the end of your post about what she has taught you. I agree that it is wonderful when we can take more than just pain and sorrow from the loss of our children. So proud of you and I second that Emma is too! :)

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