Sunday, November 30, 2008

Letter to Shiloh

Today is Thanksgiving. You would be one month and two days old. I had a little Thanksgiving onesie for you to wear. It has a turkey on it and it says, “My first Thanksgiving”. But it sits here in front of me, unwashed and unworn. We were supposed to go to San Diego to see the family, to see everyone so they could ooh and aah over you, to be thankful for your presence. Well, I’ve got nothing to be thankful for. Instead of the joy and togetherness I’m meant to feel, I’m just sad, alone, angry. These feelings deepen as the days go by.

People say that it’s supposed to get less difficult over time, but it seems like it’s getting harder. Realization is setting in. It’s so permanent. I’ll never ever be able to hold you again. I’m getting crushed under the weight of this realization. I’m lost in this labyrinth of emotions. I can’t seem to do much of anything lately. My heart is not in it; it’s with you.

Daddy and I have been walking along the beach a lot since you’ve gone away. Some days we talk about you the entire time, some days we remain quiet but think about nothing but you. We listen to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, the birds circling above, the solitude. The energy there is powerful. Are you there with us? Do you feel this energy? Do you feel our love? Fingers entwined, we separately soul search, but ask the same questions. Why did this happen to us? What did you do to deserve this? Why are we being punished? We are kind, caring people with so much love to give…

Occasionally, when I muster up the strength, I open your beautiful memory box. I smell the hat I put on you right after birth. I trace my finger over the shape of your footprints, the lifelines in your handprints, the soft lock of your brown baby hair. These, and your photos, are the remnants I have of you, the proof of your existence.

Your ultrasound photos continue to hang on our wall downstairs. I just don’t have the strength to take them down; it feels all wrong. Besides, I love looking at you. I drink in every detail of you, right down to the length of your little baby fingernails. I have you memorized and I can’t get over how perfect, how beautiful you are in every way. And because of this, amidst my immeasurable agony and utter loss, are feelings of intense pride.

I can’t bring myself to clean out your nursery either. Even though not a thing has been slept in, laid on, or put on, these are all of your things. I often stand in your room with my eyes shut tight and I try to visualize your little body in your crib, on your changing table, in your new pink cardigan. You would have loved your room. Daddy and I spent weeks painting it. It is pink and brown and has trees with leaves blowing in the wind and little birds in the trees. Perhaps one day you would have become a biologist like mommy and wondered what species the trees and the birds were. I think about these sorts of things all the time. But I’ll never know the answers to any of these things I wonder about.

I hope to see you again one day, my sweet baby. It may be a very long time from now, but I will never ever forget you Shiloh. I love you so incredibly much and as much as I don’t like to think about you not being here with me, I know that you are safe in heaven in the arms of your great grandparents. Please watch over us, and if possible, let us know that you are here with us at least in spirit.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Jagged edges

At first I was scared, but now I’m addicted.
I’m addicted to looking at your photos.
I can’t seem to get them out of my mind.
The plumpness of your cheeks, the shape of your nose, the color of your lips.
I try to imagine you awake, alive, but I can’t. It’s so unfair.
I want to look into your eyes, I want to feel your heart beat; I want to do all the things I’ll never have a chance to do.
I’ve yet to go a night without crying over you, for you, for me.
My body wracks with sobs, my arms ache for you.
I’ve forgone smiling, laughter, happiness.
I’m afraid to face friends, afraid of my emotions, the complexity of my thoughts.
So I’ve pushed away everyone but daddy.
They just can’t understand how I feel, the many levels of my pain.
My innocence, my naïveté, taken away.
How do I compartmentalize my agony?
I can’t.
So life goes on around me, without me.
Everything has changed.
It’s not just enduring the loss of my daughter, but the loss of myself, the loss of my future, the change in the way people look at me, the way they respond to me, the way I respond to them.
I’ve been cast into the wrong movie, hearing words I don’t understand.
Will I ever be able to make small talk again, to listen to other’s problems, no matter how insignificant?
But I need people. I can’t, I shouldn’t, isolate myself.
I need strong people, someone strong enough to see me cry, to cry with me, to find the right words when there aren’t any, to know that they don’t know.
But for now I remain alone, because I don’t have the strength.
You’ve been stolen from me, a piece of me ripped away.
Jagged edges don’t heal smoothly. Once torn, forever weakened.
Nine months with you was endlessly generous, but life without you is equally cruel.
I know I’ll never be whole again.

-your mommy, Rachel Simon

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No, not without you Shiloh

No bringing you home from the hospital in your new car seat
No cuddling up with you, no feeling your heat.

No driving you around when you're cranky and can't sleep
No cooing, no crying, no, you'll not make a peep.

No smiling, no crawling, no other milestones
No beach, no ocean, no together skipping stones.

No wrapping you in your blankets, no soothing your cries
No rocking you in your rocking chair, no changing your diaper, no singing lullabies.

No trimming your fine hair or your little baby nails
No Cinderella, no Snow White, no, no fairy tales.

No sleeping with you on our bed, nor on my chest
No spitting up, no burping, no putting you to breast.

No kissing your soft cheeks, your tiny nose, your gorgeous face
No changing your nursery because that was meant to be your place.

No putting you in your crib, your bouncer, your swing
No running errands with you in your new baby sling.

No wearing of onesies, undershirts or dresses
No washing your small clothes, no cleaning up your messes.

No Thanksgiving, no Chanukah, and no New Year
No visiting San Diego for your grandparents, aunt and uncles to be near.

No taking you on walks, no showing you off to friends
No more filling out your baby book, to my pain is there no end?

No sitting you on my lap to put on your socks and tie your shoes
Oh g-d, I'd give anything right now to have the true baby blues.

My life has changed for the worse now that you are no longer here
No hope, no purpose, no direction, no cheer.

No, without you Shiloh, our family is just not complete
Living without you is already proving to be no easy feat.

- your mommy, Rachel Simon

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shiloh's website

Andreas and I created this website in Shiloh's memory ( not only for ourselves and for our families, but especially for those of you that never met Shiloh. We want you to put a face to her name. We want for everyone to remember her, to see how beautiful and perfect she was, and to know how empty our lives are without her. We also want to educate people about umbilical cord accidents (UCAs).

Thanks to everyone for all of your kind words and prayers. It is going to be a long healing process, one which we will never be completely over, but are learning to work through day by day, and knowing that we have support from family and friends is invaluable to us.

Rachel and Andreas
Andreas und ich haben eine Internetseite in Shiloh's Gedenken gestaltet (, nicht nur fuer uns und unsere Familien, sondern insbesondere fuer alle die Shiloh leider nicht kennen lernen konnten. Wir moechten das ihr ein Gesicht mit ihrem Namen verbinden koennt, seht wie wunderschoen und einzigartig sie war, und wie lehr unser Leben ohne sie ist. Wir moechten das sie nievergessen wird, und das sie nicht ohne Grund von uns gegangen ist. Daher haben wir auch Information an Nabelschnurkomplikationen auf der Seite beigefuegt.

Danke fuer Eure lieben Worte und Gebete. Es wird lange dauern zu heilen, und die Wunden werden nie ganz verschwinden, aber jeden Tag bewegen wir uns ein kleines Stueck vorwaerts. Eure Unterstuetzung bedeutet uns sehr viel in dieser schweren Zeit.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

You are always in our hearts

In loving memory of our beautiful daughter, Shiloh Jayden Simon, born still on October 28, 2008 due to an umbilical cord accident. You will be forever missed.