Blackwater Shoal is my space to write about my grief process after my precious seven year old daughter died. I hope that by sharing my journey that I will find healing and comfort, and that maybe you will, too.
Bronwyn was born to me on a beautiful late summer day after a normal pregnancy and beautiful birth experience. She was perfect and, in my eyes and heart, the most beautiful creature I'd ever laid eyes on. After a normal newborn period, Bronwyn began having difficulty meeting her physical milestones such as sitting up, rolling over, and reaching for objects. After discussions with specialists and tests were run, it was determined that Bronwyn had a rare and unnamed neurological condition, most likely stemming from problems with her mitochondrial DNA. No prognosis was given for her, but therapy was prescribed.
I walked around with a cold stone of fear and sadness in my belly for weeks, but Bronwyn was a smiling happy baby and soon I rolled up my sleeves and accepted the uncertainty of life and the certainty of love.
Over time, Bronwyn's condition worsened and she began having seizures by age 2. Her seizures became more frequent and more powerful as time went on, and although medicines helped with both the frequency and intensity of her spells, she still had seizures every day. She eventually needed a feeding tube and used a wheelchair for support and mobility.
One early November morning in 2010, Bronwyn began having seizures that would not stop. Her Dad and I took her to the emergency room, and she was subsequently transported to the Pediatric ICU in Seattle where she could get more specialized care. Bronwyn was put into a medically induced coma to allow her brain to rest, with the hope that she would return to a more normal baseline after she woke up. Sadly this was not to be, and after two weeks in the ICU, Bronwyn passed away in my arms. She was seven years old.
Since Bronwyn has died, I have been suprised by what has comforted me and what has not. And even though it sounds obvious to say so, my experience so far with grief has been nothing like what is shown in the media (on Television and in movies). I realize now that very few people talk about their grief experience and, in the very beginning, many of my friends were at a loss as to what to say to me, or what might be helpful to me. Luckily, my friends perservered through their uncertainty and simply asked me what they could do. And I also asked, "How can I help myself understand and accept my situation better?" I began writing a little bit on my other blog, "A Handmade Life," and found that the process was healing for me. But that blog is more about my crafty life, and It seemed like the wrong platform for expressing my deeper grief. Hence, I find myself here.
You can read my initial writing on my other blog: the links to each post are below: