Today’s topic for the Capture Your Grief project is “Identity.” The directions for this photo were: “What is your child’s name? Why did you chose that name? What is the meaning of their name? If they were born, what were their birth details. What were their features? Who are they?” I saw this topic as two-fold. The first aspect I saw was my own identity, the second my daughter’s.
At the beginning, I just knew every time people saw me they thought, “She lost her baby.” That was my identity for a while. The woman who lost her baby. I hated that feeling. The feeling that people were staring at me. The awkwardness it created. We learned in our support group that our loss is not what defines us, but it becomes a part of us. So who am I? I am a Christian, a wife, a mother to three earthly children, a step-mom, and yes a bereaved parent. That is my identity. All of those things are part of who I am, not just the fact that I lost my baby.
The real reason for this topic is my daughter Isabella. She was born still on March 5, 2011. She was real. She weighed five pounds and fourteen ounces. I held her. She had dark hair, pouty lips, and a button nose. She was beautiful. I always loved the name Isabella. Some people teased me saying she was named after one of my favorite movies, Twilight. She really wasn’t. When we found out we were expecting with our son Caleb, almost two years earlier, he would have been named Isabella had he been a girl. After we lost her we looked up the meaning of her name. It had several meanings. The one that we always use is “God’s Promise.” And because we called her Bella for short, and it means “beautiful,” we combined the two to say “God’s Beautiful Promise.” She definitely lived up to her name.