Day 3: Teddies and Toys

August 3, 2017

By Sanda Rathamone

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 3

On the left is Elijah's Bear and the right is Elijah's "would-have-been" toy blankie.

The story of Elijah's Bear started from a chaplain who gave it to us. His bear has become so special to the both of us and we are so grateful to have it. There is not a day where I do not touch his bear, it is always well cared for, regularly washed, and loved in our bedroom. To read more about Elijah's Bear, click here.

In this photo, you can see that on the left arm, there are a couple bracelets around it. The first one, you might have a little trouble seeing, but it is a braided pink, white, and blue yarn bracelet. I made it in the colors of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness (I forgot the purple). The second one is a bead bracelet of Elijah's name.

I have shared much about his bear in another blog post, that I don't want to say much other than to repeat that it means so much to me. I sleep with it every night in place of Elijah and carry it as if it were him. I don't care if I sound crazy, but I believe his bear carries his spirit - that is why it brings me so much comfort.

As a loss mom, you realize that the things you have left of them become a source of painful comfort. You begin to live in a double world of comfort and pain. 

You might not have read my story about how my husband has a new niece and how I have had a very difficult time around her and when his sister was pregnant. She was born about eight months after Elijah's passing. I hold onto Elijah's bear - a lot - because of her presence. I never knew that a baby could ever bring me so much awe, but so much pain at the same time. To this day, I still have not held his niece, who is now about five months or so. I will hold onto Elijah's bear because that is all I have left of him, because I feel that Elijah needs to be held, because I feel that no one is holding him.

I still believe that family support is so important and if I had it, grief and seeing his niece wouldn't be much more difficult than it already is.

Sometimes, I'll give the bear to my husband, hoping that he knows how much I am still hurting, that I haven't really "gotten over" anything.

Yet, if I had the chance to buy Elijah a teddy bear, it wouldn't have been a bear.

Elijah was born on the Chinese year of the Monkey - not that we're Chinese. But that I was also born of the year of the monkey! We got this little toy on the day we went splurging just after finding out we were having a boy. It's very soft and has a rattle inside. What I love about it most is that at the bottom, it says "I love mommy." And without a doubt, I know he does.

I was hoping to see him holding his toy in his little hands. It would have been adorable to see Elijah carrying this around wherever he went. Instead, it is now hung on the wall next to his shadow box and photo frames. Instead, it has become a memory of when I was hoping and dreaming.

To read more about my 30 Day Writing Challenge For Stillbirth Mothers, click here.
Please let me know if you would like to join and I will include you in my final thoughts about this writing challenge in a blog post on Aug 31, 2017

Don't forget to hashtag: #30DayWritingChallengeForStillbirthMothers

* Read the full story about Elijah:

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