Almost 5 years ago, we came home from the hospital to an empty house.
Empty not in that it didn’t contain things, but that the most important thing that the entire household had been prepared for, never came home to take its place in our world.
The loneliest and saddest car trip of our lives was that one by ourselves, driving the same route that we had driven in the ambulance, just in reverse.
No baby in my belly, no baby in our arms.
The day Luca died, I deactivated my Facebook account. I was ashamed, and in this totally erratic way, embarrassed that my son had died. I was ashamed that I couldn’t keep my baby alive and safe, and I didn’t want the entire world to know in those moments.
It was because I didn’t know grief, and I was completely unclear how to handle the intense emotions that came with the trauma and the complicated reality of losing my son at full term.
So for days, we tuned out from the world around us, a world that continued to spin and move forward, while our own world stopped and was turned upside down.
We felt alone. It was just Gina and I and the dogs with daily visits from our midwives that kept us alive. But I wanted to tell my story over and over to someone that didn’t already know every inch of it. I didn’t want to continue to be alone in my brain, whimpering until I had the energy to let out the full wailing and primal screams. I needed other people to help us. We couldn’t carry this grief on our own. The weight was crushing.
I felt like it was going to kill me.
And so on March 16th, 2 days after we got home from the hospital, and 5 days after Luca died, I reactivated my Facebook account, and posted this in the hopes that they would come:
Luca D’oro Grossini-Concha was born on Sunday, March 10th, and he died peacefully in mine and Gina’s arms on Monday, March 11th. We are so devastated and heartbroken, and looking for ways to cope with this tremendous loss.
My posts are not going to be happy ones for quite some time, and I won’t be offended if you unfriend me or hide my feed, but sitting here in the early morning of his official due date, I don’t know how else to reach out. We need help, we need support, we need our family and friends right now more than ever.
So many of you have texted and called and even come to see us, and it is usually the best medicine to know we are loved and have you lifting us up.
Most of you know how much we wanted to be moms, how much we wanted this little boy in our lives, and to come home without him is heartbreaking.
Please, if you can and want to, reach out to us. Come see us. Send us something- an email, a funny video, something inspiring.
It’s going to take a village.
I sounded the siren. I asked for help. I didn’t want to die from this grief.
And the help came.
Within minutes of posting, the phone began to ring. Text messages and emails flooded in. Members of our village began to come over and listen to our story. They hugged us, or held our hands. They wrote his name in the earth. They saw things that reminded them of Luca, and they let us know. They sent us reiki. They donated to causes in his name. They did yoga for him. They sent us jewelry with his name on it. They painted us pictures of him. They made us mix-tapes. They sent us books. They brought us healing crystals. They sent us homemade granola from across the country. They kept us company while I stared into the distance, eyes blurry with tears. They brought us fresh berries. They brought us the entire collection of Curb Your Enthusiasm. They filled our refrigerator. They tattooed our bodies with his name. They loved their children harder. They held space. They hung out in the most uncomfortable space with a shattered family that had just had the earth slip out from under their feet, and they did it willingly.
All of these things, helped to keep us alive.
And even now, you still do it. Even after all these years. 5 long, beautiful and hard years.
I remember you all. I thank you all. I am so grateful for you all. You saved us. You helped carry our grief, and gave us hope that we could keep going.
And here we are.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
With all of our love.
Carla + Gina + Luca + Elia