A love letter to those we have lost

When I was 7 weeks pregnant, my best friend tragically lost her seven-month-old baby. His name was Maddox.

Today, October 10th, 2019, he would have been five.

We spent every day together for years. As the shock wore off and my sadness for her set in, I didn’t expect or notice that there was a part of me that would be forever different.

It makes sense now. As a doctor working in cancer, I see what I couldn’t see when I look back.

I had held him against my own chest and visualized my coming child in his smiling face.

Maddox dying taught me that there is unpredictability in the world.

It primed my brain to note that there’s danger all around. When our survival or safety is threatened, our brains go on hyper alert. It can manifest like anxiety, beating heartbeat, inability to sleep.

That’s what a diagnosis does.

That’s what loss does.

I ended up having some complications in pregnancy, which at the time I could not see could have been minor. Elevated liver enzymes set off a cascade of panic and I was frantic and profoundly anxious.

People who loved me told me I needed help. I didn’t think I did.

After all, it wasn’t my baby who died.

I did. I still do.

Maddox’s death has changed me. Changed me in good ways and not so good ways.

Changed how I choose to live my life.

Changed how much I prioritize my own children.

In many ways the gift that Maddox gave me was my desire to work in cancer. The desire to help people rebuild their bodies, their relationships, live happier and healthier lives in survivorship

Author Brene Brown said it best , “When you honor what you have, you’re honoring what I’ve lost.”

I offer you this thought. “Pain is supposed to change you”

Some of you are in IT, right now. Take care of yourself. Like with what happened to me, your body keeps the score. I invite you to accept who you are on the other side.

Happy birthday, sweet Maddox. You are missed.

If you need some extra help getting through this season, we have some excellent therapists on board.

Call us. We can help

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