A few months ago I started meditating in the morning. This meditation was a result of feeling incredibly disconnected and scattered throughout the day. I’ve meditated off and on for over a decade now, but this time it feels different. This time I’m meditating for Poppy.
It was early springtime and I’d reached a point in my grief process where most people who knew me weren’t mentioning Poppy anymore. They weren’t using her name. It felt like she was being forgotten. At that point, I’d seen or spoken to everyone about her death. We’d already had that first cry, that first extended hug, that first “holy shit I can’t believe this happened” conversation. For the most part, we didn’t need to have it again. In reality, I didn’t want to have it again. Still it was eating me up that the world was moving on and I couldn’t.
I realized, in a moment of grace, that I needed to spend more time with my daughter. If she was alive I’d be giving her most of my time and energy anyways. Don’t get me wrong, I was crying and pounding my fists throughout the day, but I wasn’t spending any intentional time with Poppy. Does that make sense? Basically, I decided to commit 10 or 15 minutes a day specifically to just “being” with her at my meditation table.
I am now a couple months into this morning ritual and it’s made a huge difference in regards to the relationship I’m developing with her. Recently on the phone with my mom, lamenting that I rarely hear her use Poppy’s name, she replied, “But Katie, I didn’t know her.” Those words stung. Deeply. But I get it. My mom didn’t know Poppy. No one did. I didn’t either. But thankfully that’s not stopping me from getting to know her.
This morning I sat down at my meditation table and the first thing I did was pick up my bottle of “Healing Heart Mist” and spritz it above my head. The mist has a bright, limey scent and always makes me feel better. It’s made by a company called Earth Momma Angel Baby. A gift from our friend Erin, it showed up on our doorstep only days after getting home from the hospital. I had no idea products specifically geared towards healing from baby loss existed before Poppy was stillborn.
My husband Eli and I used the mist religiously those first few months after her death. I would announce “Angel Kisses!” and then Eli and I would both close our eyes and look up towards the sky while I spritzed it above our heads. As the fine scent drifted down we would take a deep breath and feel present, if only for a fleeting second.
This morning I got as far as inhaling the mist and ringing my meditation bell before I had a visceral flashback to being home right after she died. It was the scent combined with the ringing of the bell that triggered the sound of our doorbell. It was torture hearing the doorbell ring back then. I was frightened by what was on the other side. Flowers…confirmation that Poppy wasn’t here. Food and gifts…confirmation that people knew of our tragedy. No one could deliver what we so desperately needed, our daughter.
I’m not afraid of the doorbell anymore. That fear wore off pretty quickly. And I am deeply grateful for every dinner, bag of groceries, thoughtful gift, or bouquet of flowers that showed up on our doorstep. I guess I’m just reflecting on how far I’ve come from those first few days without Poppy when I couldn’t imagine life going on, to the new and powerful relationship that I’m building with her in spirit now.
This evening one of my new friends from the bereaved mothers retreat I just attended in Canada sent me a screenshot of her Pinterest board. Among other pins was my profile picture and a link to my Medium blog shared by someone from Earth Momma Angel Baby. My heart blossomed. It was a cosmic full circle, something I never expected and couldn’t foresee. It feels like a message from the Universe confirming that my writing matters, that I may be able to help another aching family with my stories, and that Poppy’s beautiful spirit lives on.