8 Things I Need You To Understand About My Daughter's Death

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8 Things I Need You To Understand About My Daughter's Death

A few years ago, we moved from our condo to a lovely family home.

We had a very fantastic reason. Our family was growing, we were extremely happy to bring another baby Romero into our lives. Our Leilani was jumping joy that she was going to become a big sister. It was the most beautiful time of the year for us.

Until, I ended up in the hospital on Christmas day, scared to lose our unborn baby girl.

You see, at 17 weeks of my pregnancy, I had been diagnosed with low amniotic fluid, which meant my water sac had ruptured, and I was in danger of not only losing my baby but my life as well. Doctors told us that we could abort our baby and save my life, but those were not words we ever wanted to hear.

Our faith was beyond what science told us. We believe in miracles. We decided to continue with my pregnancy, so my doctor placed me on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy.

My life took a huge turn because as a mother who is actively involved in all of her older daughter's activities, it was extremely difficult to be on bed rest doing nothing. Thankfully, friends, family, and neighbors stepped up to help. My husband even hired a cleaning lady.

At 24 weeks, I had 2 steroid injections given to me, which were so painful. But I would do anything to save my beautiful baby inside my womb.

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Until I was 27 weeks along.

I began bleeding heavily and was taken to the ER, where they had no other choice but to deliver my baby girl. Sadly, the bedrest and steroids were not enough to help her little lungs develop, and she left this world 2.5 days later.

Our lives changed from that day on. The pain and loss have been unbearable.

She grew wings on March 1st. It's been a little bit since I lost my daughter, Sayuri, and now, I have some thoughts I want to share. I hope you don’t mind my self-indulgence.

Some of you may find them rude or nervy, the meanderings of a grieving mother and friend. If you do, feel free to talk among yourselves, but remember one thing: None of you are going through what I am going through.

I don’t wish it on you or on my worst enemy. Trust me — this is as bad as life gets.

Here are 8 things I need you to understand about my daughter's death:

1. There are no appropriate words. Nothing you say will make it better.

But your calls, visits, and invitations all mean a lot to me. They remind me I am still alive and still have a life outside this tragedy.

I cry a lot and I'm OK with that. I’m not embarrassed about it — and you shouldn’t be, either.

2. Don’t suggest I should take medication.

I'm entitled to my emotions. I need to feel, to grieve. I want to talk about my daughter. I want to say her name and hear her name, and if I cry it’s OK.

Please don’t avoid talking to me about her because you don’t want to upset me. I will cry either alone or in front of you, and I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable or guilty.

3. Don’t wait for that random grocery aisle meeting to tell me how much I'm on your mind.

I appreciate your stored-up words, but I'm home alone — often — and really appreciate a friendly check-in, a short phone call, a pop-by visit. If you tell me you think of me all the time, please call me or send me an e-mail.

4. Don't be scared to be with me. 

My loss is not contagious. Any discomfort you initially feel should subside if you give it a chance and give me a chance.

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5. If you're planning an evening out, a lunch date, or a getaway, please make an extra effort to include me.

I often feel like a pariah. My intention is not to "bring you down," and I do my best not to burden anyone with my sadness.

Don’t feel awkward inviting me to have some fun and don’t assume I won’t want to join in, so why even bother asking. I may often decline, but it's comforting to be included. Being excluded kills me.

6. Don’t tell me I'm "doing better" or wonder when I will "get over it." 

My grief is not on any time-table. There is no magic in one year’s time. It will take as long as it takes.

I will always miss my daughter, and there will always be a hole in my heart. I will never get over it but I hope someday to build a new normal for myself. 

7. Don’t tell me "she's in a better place" or "God must have really needed her" or "her mission on earth must have been completed."

These conclusions are painful to hear, and while I know you mean well, sometimes saying nothing or giving me a hug is all that is required. As her mother, I will always feel the only better place for my daughter to be is here, now, with me.

8. If you see my other daughter, Leilani, don’t just ask her how I'm doing — ask her how she is doing.

She lost her baby sister and needs to know that people are concerned about her, too. This loss happened to my whole family — all of us.

I realized this past year after the last meal was dropped off, the last card arrived, and the official visits were over, everyone’s lives resumed, except for ours.

Yes, we go through the motions, smiling, working, shopping, nodding, and telling people we are fine. But deep inside there is that void, that constant ache that will always be there, as it should be, and that is all right with me.

In loving memory of our second daughter, Sayuri Alana Romero, born on 2/26/14.

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Dagyana Romero is a writer, mother, and independent beauty consultant.