Dear Mac,

I can’t believe it has been four years since I last held you.

There isn’t a day that my heart doesn’t find you. I see you in butterflies, beautiful sunsets and blue jays flying. I feel you when the warm breeze gently blows against my skin and especially when I get surprise snuggles from your brother and sister. I hear you in their laugher, birds singing and in those moments I quietly sit on my front porch listening to many sounds in nature. Although I cannot touch you, you are with me. You will always be.

Every year on this day, I remember you. I can feel the date coming a mile away. The days leading up to today are filled with memories of those moments I had with you. The good and bad alike. They come and go without warning sometimes leaving me in tears and other times, I smile remembering those few memories I am able to cherish.

Mac, I remember seeing your daddy hold you in his big strong arms. You looked so little. I remember how he held you in the sunshine, telling me he couldn’t bare the thought of you never feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin. I remember how heavy you felt in my arms as I rocked you. I sang to you as tears ran down my cheeks dripping onto yours. Those moments are moments I cherish, Mac. I think of women long before me that were not able to have this time with their babies born still and I cannot imagine what their grief is like because of that. They do not have the bitter sweet memories as I do. I have heard stories of women that have had to say goodbye to their babies the moment they deliver. Sometimes not even being allowed to look at them. I am thankful for the time I had with you, Mac. I will always wish I had more, but I feel blessed to have had the time I did.

This is a hard time of year for me because I would have had to learn how to both celebrate with your brother and sister in starting a new school year AND grieve you at the same time.

Just two short weeks after you died, Hagen started preschool. It took so much energy, both physically and emotionally to walk my little boy into that classroom after loosing you. I was proud of him. I was excited and worried for him as any mom would be. Seeing him in his little school uniform made my heart smile, Mac. My little boy was growing up. I realized then this time of year would be especially challenging for me. You will never have a first day of preschool or kindergarten. I would never get the chance to see you, so little, yet so grown up as you walked onto your bus for the first time.

It has been hard, Mac. I can’t say I’ve always done the best for Hagen and Suzie because of it. In fact, I often wonder what other parents think of me as I have not started off each school year quite myself. I’m always forgetting things, running late and in my own little world. I hate this for your brother and sister. I feel like I am cheating them, you know?

As the years have gone by it has seemed to get little easier learning how to navigate grieving you and celebrating your brother and sisters milestones. Bitter sweet is the only way I could describe it.

This year your little sister is starting kindergarten. Can you believe that? You would have been four. I imaging you and I walking Hagen and Suzie to the bus and talking about how you would be big enough to one day ride the bus with them. I’m smiling as I write this, thinking about what you would look like as you waved goodbye to your big sister and brother. It would have been you and me, kiddo. You and I would have had our days together while they were at school.

We think of you often, Mac. We still daydream of what life would be like with you here with us. Just this morning Hagen asked how old you would have been. When I told him you would have been four his reply was, “I bet he would be into dinosaurs.”

I love that he talks about you. I’ve always loved that about Hagen. He will bring you up at the most random times each time bringing the biggest smile to my heart. You know one of my biggest fears has been forgetting you. I have always been afraid the world would go on as if you were never here. I know others will not remember you as I do, and I understand. It is just that I couldn’t imagine a life where I couldn’t remember you and talk about you.

I love you to the moon and back, Mac Bryson. Happy Heavenly birthday, my sweet little boy.

Love you forever,

Mommy

FOR THE GRIEVING AND THIER SUPPORTERS

You have heard me say this before and you will hear me say it again… Grief is not an event, but a companion.

It is a life long companion we can learn to live and even thrive with.

For those of you whom are new to this grief, you will find a new normal. You will smile and laugh again without feeling guilty. You will never be free from this grief, but you will learn to live a new normal with it.

For those of you whom know someone grieving, talk to them about their baby. Yes, it is hard and the words do not come easy but I promise you, it is needed. Remember their baby. Just as you will never know the loss they felt, you will never know the comfort in which simply remembering their baby will bring.

I wrote this (below) three weeks after Mac’s death. It was something I felt drawn to post on Facebook for my friends and family. Even then, so close to Mac leaving us, it was so clear to me how important it was to help people feel comfortable around our grief. I wanted everyone to know we would be okay and that we wanted, no, needed, to always remember Mac. We also felt it was very important to tell our loved ones pregnant or planning a family to know we wanted to celebrate with them. That they can talk about their plans for their sweet babies without feeling sad for us or guilty. Babies are blessings, each and every one of them. We have since congratulated many of our friends and family on their new additions to the family. Some of which are only weeks away in age with Mac. It has been a small blessing to watch them grown and remind us of our little boy.

September 10, 2012

Many of you may already know Brian & I have recently experienced heartache with the death of our baby boy, Mac. At first we wanted to keep to ourselves. Posting on Facebook didn’t seem right. We didn’t know what or how to talk about it. We now realize how important it is for us to acknowledge Mac. It has been 3 weeks since Mac was delivered and we now want to share a little of his/our story.

“Mac Bryson Rensi infant son of Natalie and Brian Rensi was stillborn Friday August 17, 2012” is what you may have read in the newspaper. What you would not have read is that Mac was 7lbs 8ozs and 21 inches long. He was beautiful, perfect in every way. Mac had dark hair unlike his brother and sister. He had my nose and his daddy’s chin and big hands. He had long feet like his brother, Hagen. He lived for 37 weeks as I carried him. He lived his entire short life inside me. Although we never saw him take a breath, heard him cry or changed his diaper we love him just the same.

Our Angel Mac has forever changed our lives. He has shown us a deeper love and a strength we didn’t know we had. Mac, without taking a breath, has taught us so much. Our love for each other, our kids, family and friends has grown because of him. Brian and I are sharing this for several reasons. We want people to know we will be ok, heartbroken but ok. We love Mac and though we may breakdown or shed tears we want to remember him and to talk about him. We want him to count. He is our son, he just has a different address. So please don’t be uncomfortable with us. Don’t be afraid to talk to us about him. We welcome it. We realize words do not come easy in a time like this. It is ok. There are no perfect words right now, no reason that is good enough for him not to be here. Please know a simple “I’m sorry”, a hand on our shoulder, a hug, a short note, a card or even tears are all ok. Please do not worry about upsetting us or causing us pain. It would hurt us more to go on as if it never happened. We don’t want to forget our baby boy. He his real. He was here. He counts.

And to all our friends having babies, newly pregnant or planning to be, we love you! We want to share in your happiness. Please do not feel uncomfortable around us. This is a wonderful and exciting time and it is okay to smile and feel that in front of us.

Brian and I love and thank you all so much for the prayers, kind words and even caring thoughts. We will get though this!

Please feel free to comment and share. I would love to hear from you.