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Life After Loss

November 12, 2014

Jessica writes at Four Plus an Angel on her life and loss:

I would like to say that losing a child turned me into an indestructible momma who fears nothing because she’s already been through the worst.

But I can’t.

Losing my daughter turned me into a wimp. What was once a smallish issue with anxiety has snowballed into a big lump of fear that I carry with me through life.

Hadley died suddenly. One minute my husband and I were turning from isolette to isolette to isolette, marveling at our teeny triplets and the next we were looking at the sad eyes of a respiratory therapist explain what a pulmonary hemorrhage can do to such a tiny body.

I’ve never been able to shake that suddenness. The fact that one moment I was worrying about my c-section scar and eating hospital food for lunch again and then next I was experiencing the most heart-wrenching moments of my life.

I parent much differently after suffering such a loss than I would have beforehand. We definitely live for the day and play more and hug more and say I love you until everyone rolls their eyes. But I also fear more. So much more.

I smile and nod when my kids are balancing on the edge of anywhere high and a nearby parent says “they’ll be fine.” Then I get them down and send them to something less dangerous because I would rather not find out whether they will be or not.

My “they’ll be fine” instinct is gone. It floated away with the last flutter of my daughter’s lashes and I’ve given up on it’s return.

I hope they will be fine. I hope they are always always fine. That their tears are over the minor bruises and expected heartaches that come with growing up and that someday I’m a white haired old woman watching them discover the first of their grays.

I want to believe there will be no more blink-of-an-eye tragedies in our family but history has played the cruelest of tricks on my mind and I can’t seem to rewrite my thoughts. Living a carefree life is one more thing that grief and loss took from me. Over time I’ve learned that’s okay, because in it’s place has grown a fierce love of the present moments, the right here and now I have with my family.

There is no better time to hold them tight than when they’re right here.


Jessica Watson is a mom to five, four in her arms and one in her heart. You can find her wearing her heart on her sleeve at her personal blog Four Plus an Angel or on twitter @jessbwatson. Look for her first book Soon due out in the next few weeks! 


  • simplyjessilee

    December 2, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your heart. I too carry around a fear that I so desire would leave my body. I suffered four miscarriages in three years… so I too am a mom of five – one in my arms and four in my heart (and with Jesus.. more importantly). Every day is a gift with my daughter… every single moment is precious, no matter how trying… and I too feel the fear of losing her. Though, I am learning to trust God with her little, fragile life.

  • lovefrommn

    November 14, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Jessica, I know what you mean about living with this unexpected fear, but on a different level. My son was hurt at his daycare by a negligent provider and while he is ok as far as we can tell, but it could have been devastating for my family. It turned his father and I into bowls of nervous jelly that panic every time the phone rings on a weekday when we are working. We thought we would be worry free hands off parents until this incident. Now we live with the pain and memory of that day, and we feel cheated out of the infant experience we expected to have. We delivered a beautiful perfect baby and it feels as though that disgusting person stole his perfection from us. I struggle with guilt constantly because I have to work and I can’t protect him every minute of every day. I was supposed to protect him and I failed by picking the wrong person to care for him. Your story resonated with me as I have no one to talk to about this – my husband doesn’t want to talk about it anymore, and no one I know can relate to what happened to us. I cannot afford therapy due to the sad state of mental health care coverage in the US. So I live in this place of sadness, fear, and mental anguish. We still have him and we are extremely lucky and grateful for that, but the what ifs haunt me every day.Thanks for letting me spill it all out. I hope you can find some peace someday.

  • The Lambent Life

    November 12, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Beautiful. Hugs, mama.

  • miloumartel

    November 12, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Beautifully written. Sending you much love from Canada.

    1. Jessica (@jessbwatson)

      November 12, 2014 at 8:56 am

      Thank you!

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