On October 30th, 8:50am I gave birth to my son, Nyle Zyaire who was stillborn. This was the worst day and most beautiful day of my entire life. His body was lifeless, but yet so beautiful. His little peaceful face brought my partner and I so much joy. He looked so much like his father but had some of my most prominent features. We were so proud of him. He was our first and only born child, our son. We spent approximately an hour with him, before the human body began to truly experience the realities of decomposition. It was my greatest honor to carry him in my womb and deliver him, but it was my greatest loss to watch them take him away and I’d never see him again.
First time, I experienced deep grief was when I lost my paternal grandmother under the age of ten. Losing my paternal grandmother made me so sad. My second encounter with deep grief was when I lost my maternal step-grandmother when I was a preteen. My third encounter with grief was the year of 2012 when I lost both of my maternal grandparents. I was 22 years old when I lost my maternal grandparents. I was old enough to process pain physically and cognitively. This time, it felt like someone was squeezing my heart.
Losing my son, however, was different. Losing my son broke my spirit. Experiencing the loss of my son not only induced grief, but it induced suffering.
Every encounter I’ve had prior to my son’s passing, acquainted me with sadness, deep sadness. I felt their absence. I missed them deeply, but I was able to let go, spiritually. I was able to accept their passing, because I felt grateful for the time I had with them. I was able to spend much quality time with them and we created such beautiful memories together. Although, I felt deep sadness emotionally, this sadness was not accompanied by inner resistance. I felt inner peace. Someone very dear to my heart told me, “grief is an energy that must move through you.” This energy moved.
When I lost my son, I felt the disconnection in my womb prior to going to the hospital. When I delivered him, his death was finalized. However, I could not let go. Unlike my other encounters with grief, I felt this inner sense of resistance: physically, all over my body, psychologically, and most indefinitely, spiritually. I felt such deep anger with God. I felt like God could have intercepted, and there should have been a different outcome. I felt divine betrayal. I felt destitute and forsaken. I had no inner peace. This encounter did not come and move through my soul. This energy stayed. I then began grieving the loss of myself, because this grief changed ME. I felt like a stranger within my own soul. I’ve always been a deeply spiritual person, but I no longer had words to encourage myself. I could NOT pray. My third eye was closed, and my crown chakra was deeply deactivated. I felt disrupted.
Processing — It’s starting to move..
My partner and I started attending a pregnancy and infant loss support group and that has been helping me process my grief. I’ve also been in therapy for over a year and a half and my therapist has also been supporting me in processing my grief. One day during one of our tele-sessions he told me, “Ashley, time will be your greatest ally.” I didn’t want to hear it at the time, but I realized he was right. After more time passed by and with the presence of a strong community, I’ve had the space to do more processing. I began to understand what I was experiencing. I was not only grieving, I was suffering. Within this context, I believe to grieve is to feel sadness, emotionally and physically due to death. This experience is normal. This experience is inevitable and does not have to be detrimental. This energy can move through you and doesn’t have to remain stagnant. Suffering however, is to experience the loss of self and the loss of your own internal power and center. Suffering is to experience the intensity of that energy and emotion all the time without it moving through you. Suffering is inner resistance — A resistance to reality and towards variables beyond your control thus creating an overwhelming feeling of inner-powerlessness and hopelessness.
Still Processing — Still moving
I’ve decided that it is okay to grieve, but it’s not okay to suffer. I’m ready to let go of resistance and move toward inner peace. I’m still working through and processing my grief, so I don’t have as much clarity as I need and want, but I’m still processing — willing to accept reality while being receptive to higher truth, and inner healing. I will NEVER let go of my son, but I’m letting go of the powerlessness that has hijacked my soul. I will allow the undying and unyielding love I have for my son remind me of the love I have to fight for myself. I’m allowing grief to move through me.
If you are experiencing grief and you feel like you’re suffering, I encourage you to allow time to be your greatest ally. Take the time you need, but process. You do not have to suffer in silence. I hope there is a community around you, undergirding you. May we all find the peace our souls so deeply need.