Personal Musings of Cincinnati + Dayton Doula, Emily Frigo
A Letter To My Past Self, From The Me Who's Been Grieving For 10 Years.
In Response to going "viral"
Just a few days after my oldest son's 10th birth and death anniversary, I posted an image of my motherbody on my Instagram account. It touched on my story of loss, and my journey into self-love. I still can't truly understand why, but it went viral.
I am beyond humble, and grateful, that my story has touched so many people. I am undeserving of the love I have received. Words can not adequately explain how much gratitude I have. It is through the strength and rawness of other women that I have found myself here, they should be getting the credit. And to all the amazing, wonderful, marvelous women who have reached out to me over the last few days, you should be getting the credit, too.
But such an intimate story going viral brings up those tough emotions, too. We are talking about infant and pregnancy loss, you know? The evening that People published my interview, I cried for my old Emily. She was a very sad, frustrated, and lost girl.
Here is my letter to her.
My Dear Emily,
That feeling that you can't breath? Those nights you cry in the bathroom, believing you're going to die? The heart pounding, cold sweating, dizziness? Those are panic attacks. You are not dying, at least not yet. Your body simply can't make sense of what's going on right now. This will pass. One day, these nightly terrors will just be apart of your story.
You're angry. You're really fucking angry. Stop holding it back. Go ahead, scream. Smash something. Punch your pillow. Release that anger. REALSE. You, my Emily, are allowed to get mad. The death of a child brings that out. Infertility brings that out. Miscarriages bring that out. You lost your son, Emily. And if that wasn't enough loss, you lost five pregnancies. Emily. Feel it. Embrace your shadow.
Why is this happening? Why your body? Why your babies? You're disappointed in yourself. You blame your body. You believe it's failing you. But it's not your fault. Life is a mysterious world, full of happenings that can't be explained. You know that annoying quote that everyone keeps telling you? "Everything happens for a reason" <----- that one. Well no, it doesn't. Sometimes shit things happen to good people. But guess what Emily? Guess what you do now? You witness the miracle of birth all the time. You did it. You followed your childhood dreams, even though you felt derailed. You walk next to mothers as they write their own stories of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Want to know what else? You've turned your loss into something really, really good. You lovingly support families who are experiencing loss themselves. Emily, how fucking amazing, right? Not everything happens for a reason. But you've given your losses a purpose. You've been able to turn your pain into something beautiful. You'll see, Emmy.
You feel so alone. It's like your standing in a crowd of people. You're screaming and crying. You don't feel like anyone sees you. You don't believe anybody cares. My little Emily, welcome the solitude. You deserve it right now. Walk with yourself. Breath with yourself. Heal with yourself. Rebuild yourself. Our most important growth happens internally. One day, your story will be heard internationally. You'll reach millions of people. Yes, Emily. It's true. Your stories are touching lives all over the world. In the last few days, your story went viral. I'm talking interviews with people.com type viral. So many mothers, from all around the world, have reached out to you. I know you feel alone right now, but it won't always be like this momma.
Did you catch that? I called you momma. You're a momma now. I just tucked in your four little children into their beds. I sang them their favorite bedtime song. I kissed them goodnight. You, my Emily, have given birth to four of the most wonderful children on earth. That hope you hold on to, the hope you feel slipping away? Fight the fight. Hold out strength. Don't give up.
Don't give up, Emily.
From the you who's been grieving for 10 years,