In Honor of DrewAnne Lillie
By Ayliea Holl

March 30, 2015, I woke up thinking about today. In truth, I’ve been thinking about it for a few days, wondering what I should write today. Not because I am torn by grief – but quite the opposite. I am at peace. I didn’t wake up crying. I didn’t feel the usual ache in my chest or gut-wrenching loss that I used to feel. Yesterday was the third anniversary of the death of my fur-baby Kessie, and yesterday I felt grief for her loss, so I thought today might be difficult. This morning, I feel…peace.

Does that mean I’m “Healed?” To be honest, I just don’t know. I feel entirely at peace with DrewAnne’s loss. I feel genuinely blessed to have been able to carry her for close to 19 weeks. I feel honored that her brief existence gave me a reason to be part of the a “Heartbreaking Choice” forums and the website. I feel privileged and fortunate to be involved in the continuation of this resource for women (and men) that have made this Heartbreaking Choice. I do feel a fleeting sadness that I will never have a living child of my own, but that is a different kind of loss. The pain I feel at never having a living child is something that will always be with me, but is not something that defines me – at least not any more.

The truth is that our losses are painful and truly heartbreaking. However, our losses don’t characterize who we are. They tend to make us think differently about life, love and truly about what it means to be happy, but our choices to let our children go don’t determine our lives. It’s the choices we make AFTER our losses and how we live our lives, how we honor and memorialize our children and how we shape our new “Normal” lives because of this grief. But the grief won’t consume you, unless you let it. Don’t let it!

I know how difficult that is in the first days, weeks, months and yes, even years – but after a couple of years, especially if you are able to go on to have a living child, the grief lessens. We NEVER forget our children, but we DO learn to move forward with our lives and and to make the best of our lives. In this, making the best of my life after choosing to let DrewAnne go, I truly believe that I have succeeded.

For my daughter DrewAnne Lillie – you are loved and honored. You will always be in my heart and a part of my soul. Thank you for making me a better person.

I’m sorry it took so long.

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.”~Washington Irving

Ayliea Holl is a contributor to the award winning book Our Heartbreaking Choices: Forty-Six Women Share Their Stories of Interrupting a Much-Wanted Pregnancy, published 2008 by IUniverse. She is also the Lead Administrator for the Heartbreaking Choice Discussion forums, and a contributing author for this website.