There is no pain like the pain of losing a child. As a pediatrician, I have grieved with numerous parents enduring this loss. I know this is a unique grief and while it never goes away, healing is possible.
This week on my podcast I interviewed a woman who knows this loss well. Ashley LeMieux and her husband, Mike, were permanent guardians to a young brother and sister for four years. When an unexpected contested adoption arose, Ashley and Mike lost their children, their family, and entire world overnight.
A few years later, Ashley and Mike decided to try and start a family biologically, but at sixteen weeks pregnant they lost their baby boy.
Through unimaginable heartache and pain, Ashley has found peace and even joy after embarking on a journey of true healing that she is now sharing in her book I Am Here: The Journey from Fear to Freedom.
I recently got to speak with Ashley on my Parenting Great Kids Podcast. I encourage you to listen to the full episode here, but here are a few thoughts Ashley shared on how to process grief, move forward, and start rebuilding your life.
Ask What’s Beneath the Fear
“When we lost our older two kids, I spent most of my waking hours in fear,” says Ashley, “and it was fear I was never going to see my kids again. It was fear that I failed as their mother. It was fear that they don’t know if I love them.
“One day I was driving home from a therapy session, and I saw a little girl who looked like my little girl, and I had to pull over on the side of the road because I just broke down. I missed her so much, I didn’t know how to keep moving or breathing through that…I had this little thought: What if it’s not just fear?
“What I realized was that a profound sense of love was really driving my feelings. Deeper than the fear is this positive emotion I can anchor to instead of anchoring to the fear because when I anchor to the fear, it robs me of all my power, all my energy…but if I can anchor myself to love, then that’s a power source, then it feeds me. It allows me to keep moving forward.”