I wrote this poem for Finnian and Maisie and read it at their memorial after we lost them. I was still trying to figure out how to tell my heart what happened and also tell them how long I will love them – near or far.
“How long do you wanna be loved?”
I held your toes, little half grains of rice, each perfectly rounded.
Your tiny feet made prints on my heart, now splashing in sky puddles -
If there is laughter in heaven I’m sure it is yours;
I’ve never before heard a sound so clearly that my eardrums hadn’t vibrated,
but I know it, just like I know you.
Like I know each inch of your tiny body,
The way it sat in the palm of my hand -
Your long fingers wrapped around the tip of mine,
Your knuckles rapping on pearly gates to make an early arrival.
If there is sunshine in heaven I bet it surrounds you.
When your lips blow kisses into the wind,
And your heartbeat swooshes among starlight,
I breathe in deeply -
One day closer.
If my arms could have rocked you longer,
If my pelvis had been stronger,
If my body had mimicked my love for you,
If we could have had longer,
I still could not have loved you more.
You have it all.
If there is time in heaven I hope it stands still -
Still as the moment we last embraced,
So that when I wrap my arms around you again,
And the smile spreads across your face,
I’ll know that you remember the way my heart sounds from the inside;
And together we will make footprints in sky puddles
and laughter in heaven.
And I’ll sing your lullaby one more time -
“How long do you wanna be loved?
Is forever enough?”
By: Tiffany Kann
One year ago our twins, Finnian and Maisie, were born much too early. My labor started the morning of April 13th and despite every effort available to stop it the twins were born just before 8:00am on April 14th. The last 24 hours I’ve re-lived, re-hashed, re-experienced the desperation of one year ago. But in the end we are still here … without our darling babies in our arms. One year ago today I still held them. They hadn’t survived but we still held them, rocked them, sang to them, kissed them, and marvelled at their beauty. Our hearts are still sore and the desire for them to be here is as palpable as the first moment we walked out of the hospital. It seems though, no matter what we do, that time does not go backwards.
We knew every second of their lives. After biting the IVF bullet and all its physical and emotional demands, we were able to know them earlier than most. We knew the moment they were conceived, the moment they likely implanted, the moment they were confirmed, and every single moment since. We knew them, wanted them, loved them for every moment they existed here and it hasn't turned off … all those things remain.
“It’s probably going to always feel that way,” my husband said across the table a night ago. The tears were sliding down my face again as I told him about the future memories that still seep into my dreams, the ones that I don’t actual know for certain but somehow my sleeping brain has conjured. All the moments we lost, invisible to the outside world, and still my sleep knows them. We talked about how one year hasn’t dulled the pain, but that we both know at some point it will become more familiar. At some point, the grief won’t feel like it’s choking us. We’ve had other big losses, so we know that the body and heart and brain figure out how to preserve themselves and live on. One year is not that point for us, yet. One year still feels like yesterday, or a week ago, or this morning, even when we've aged so much since then.
He is right, we will still always feel this way … this wanting way for them. There is no replacement and no amount of time that will remove them from us. We’ve passed every marker now at least once. Every day after this is the second time we’ve lived it after them. And then it will be the third and fourth and so on.
While my heart feels like it’s broken in half, while I feel like I will never ever be complete again, while this day has throat punched me and my face is swollen with salty tears, we still celebrate the life that we did have with them. And we celebrate the fact that Finnian George and Maisie Rebecca will always, forever and ever, be our son and our daughter, our first precious children.
Thank you for all of you who have continued to love us on this journey. Thank you to those who've said their names in the last year, to those who've allowed us to speak of them and cry for them and laugh about them and love them out loud. And if our story has helped you recognize the impact of pregnancy loss, to express your own feelings of loss or grief or love, or simply just hold your loved ones tighter, than thank you for listening/reading as I've written my way through this. Thank you for allowing Finnian and Maisie to be a representation of the unbreakable bonds of love.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is give ourselves an activity. Something that feels like we are doing something. I’ve included photos below of how we are marking today for any other grievers looking for ways to commemorate their loved one's day. I got through yesterday by preparing these things … earlier today I also posted the poem that I wrote for them and read at their memorial: Dear Baby. And as I do on many days I will listen to and sing their lullaby. Because forever is the answer.
Hi, I'm Tiffany. I believe in the power of stories to connect us to each other. I write about life after loss and all the love, longing, and learning that comes from it. Grief is big, love is bigger. My newest stories are about motherhood (after both infertility and loss). In my experience, love doesn't get bigger than motherhood.
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