A Labor of Love

Last night I attended my ninth Labor of Love Christmas Service.  And I was asked to share the same speech that I shared at the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness "Walk to Remember" back in October. I decided to condense it last night for time's sake, but here it is - in its entirety - for you all to read.  My sincere hope and prayer is that it reaches the person who needs to hear these words, for comfort, to feel understood, and to know they're not alone...

Hello, friends.My name is Meghan Dingle and I lost my baby boy nine years ago.In this community, some see me as a seasoned veteran, with many years under my belt, but all that really means is that I’ve cried a few more tears than some of you.That’s right.I’m still crying nine years later.
What does grief feel like when you are this many years out from the day you said both “hello” and “goodbye" to your precious little one? When the world has forgotten, but your heart still remembers? I’m here to tell you that …

It's Been a Minute

You guys. It's been over a YEAR since I've published anything on this site.  I can't believe it's been so long since I've made a blog post.  Recently I went searching for what I said at Gabe's last Angelversary.  After searching all my social media accounts, and this blog, I couldn't find anything.

If my memory is correct, we had a very small gathering last year.  I do see photos of me with my besties.  And I definitely remember the gorgeous floral arrangement left by a sweet friend.  It looked sunny. We were smiling.  But I remember I felt horrible inside.  That I didn't make any "reminder" posts on social media, because I didn't want to "bug" anyone about remembering my Gabriel.  So, in order to not make that mistake again, I present to you:  What was said at Gabriel's Ninth Angelversary.

We arrived a few minutes early to see a tent and table set up, and sweet friends already gathered.  The clouds had grown darker and darke…

Table for Six

It's been almost eight years since we had our Gabriel.  Since we lost our Gabriel.  Over the past several years, one child in this family has continued to talk about him the most.  Joel, now nine years old and the only sibling to have the chance to actually meet his brother, doesn't often speak his name these days.  He is, however, very protective of his "Gabey Bear" that he sleeps with every night, and goes to find when he's sad or hurt.  I'm still not sure Ruby, who just turned four, completely understands that she has a brother who is no longer with us.  The only photos she's ever seen of him are obviously baby pictures from the day he was born, but she does usually ask if every random picture she sees of a baby, is our Gabriel. 

But our Zoe, almost six, talks about him all the time.  She points out that there is a seat in the back row of our family car, between she and Joel.  "That's where Gabe sits."  And when she asked about the key …

Four Little Ones

What does grief feel like when you are this many years out from the day you said both "hello" and "goodbye" to your precious one?  When the world has forgotten, but your heart still remembers?  The number one thing people tell me about this blog is that it allows them to see what grief looks like through various stages.  So, when Facebook reminded me that it was on THIS day, eight years ago, that we announced we were pregnant with our second child, I made myself sit down and write about my precious Gabriel.

Here’s a riddle.  What do playdates and doctor visits have in common?  They both want your childbearing history.  I can’t tell a doctor I only have four kids, because they need to know that I birthed five.  If you’re not a momma, this may not make sense to you - But let me assure you, after talking with a variety of doctors this past year about my dislocated tailbone, they ALL asked for my complete prenatal history.  So for anyone who thinks his memory should hav…

Remembering them at Christmas

Last night was the always beautiful, somewhat magical, Labor of Love Christmas service.  It's a night I look forward to every year.  Last year there were two men who shared about their losses, and it moved me so much I blogged about it.  You can read that entry here.  I knew I needed to share this year, but only if when I sat down to write, something poured out of me.  And, of course, that's exactly what happened.  Below is what I shared to the many Infant Loss mommas, daddys, grandparents, nurses, and friends in attendance...

I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude to Labor of Love, and all the people who are now more like family than friends. Being able to gather with a group of people who understand exactly how you feel, who have endured the same tremendous loss, is such a beautiful gift.

I lost my son, Gabriel, seven years ago. In many ways it feels like a lifetime ago, but no, I'm not over losing my son. And, no, I won't ever be. This year I s…

What I Said, 7th Angelversary Edition


The Unexplainable

I think you only really "get this" if you've lost a significant loved one yourself, but I'll try to explain.  And I can really only speak for myself, but I have a feeling I'm speaking for many of us...  You don't always miss your baby (or spouse, or parent, or best friend) on the days you are "supposed" to miss them.  In fact, sometimes the days leading up to a certain triggering date is worse than the significant day itself.  And sometimes your body feels the sadness before your head can catch up.

This has happened to me a lot over the years since we lost our Gabriel.  But there's a specific time it happens that still both surprises and confuses me, so I've never talked about it before.  But, it kind of "proves" that us grieving parents don't "choose" our sadness.  It's not something we talk about to get attention from loved ones, or to gain sympathy from strangers.  Sometimes, it's like our soul recognizes t…