Angela Miller (37), Noah (would be 12), Landon (8), Everett (6), Clara (2)
Angela shares -
“My firstborn son Noah died when he was 2. I miss him every second of every day. I will forever wish I could be in two places at once. There will be a Noah-shaped hole in my heart until my very last breath. I have four children, not just the three you see.
I think parenthood has made me love my body even more. Even though on the outside it might not look as beautiful... I feel more beautiful on the inside because I know what my body is capable of doing. Beauty is who you are. Birthing my four children has made me feel empowered. Strong. Radiant. Beautiful. Unstoppable. Grounded. Fierce. Courageous. I never knew the amazing strength and grace of a woman's body (my body!) until having each of my four children. Though my body doesn't look like it used to, I see my stretch marks as badges of courage, fortitude, marks of unending love... proof that my 4 beautiful children grew inside me and the love we share is forever. Not even death can take that away. As a loss mom it brings me much comfort to know that our children's cells (from pregnancy) stay within us forever. A part of them is literally inside our bodies. We carry them with us forever. I love that so much. A mother's love is forever. And ever and ever.
Each of my postpartum experiences were different, but overall I remember it was a beautiful and overwhelming time. I remember being in awe and completely exhausted. Being so thankful for each subsequent baby and yet aching for the one who wasn't here. Being a loss mom can make the postpartum time even more complex. Pregnancy after loss has it's own challenges and blessings as well. The hardest part was never being able to go back to the old me, no going back to being blissfully pregnant again like I was the very first time. Every pregnancy after the loss of my son Noah was both beautiful and so, so hard. From my experience of losing him I learned to take nothing for granted. Also hard: society expects once you have a baby after loss that you're "over it." Healed. All better. As if your family (and your grief) are now complete. Done. Over. People seem to forget that you can't replace human beings. No matter how many children you have after. I could have 8 more kids, and it would never make me miss my Noah one. bit. less. I wish people could understand that grief is really love, and grief lasts forever because love lasts forever.
I've been intrigued by this project since I first heard of it a few years ago. I want to represent a type of motherhood that is often ignored and taboo in our society. Grieving mothers don't always feel welcome in the conversation/community of mothering. We often feel on the fringes. Mothering a child who is no longer here... and mothering my children who are. It's a constant balancing act, the infinite art of embracing both/and. I am here and I am there. I am learning how to be two places at once. With my Noah and with my three beautiful children who are physically here with me. I love each of them with my whole heart and I am so deeply blessed to be Noah's Mom, Landon's Mom, Everett's Mom and Clara's Mom. It is a gift I'll never take for granted. I hope they know how much their love and light blesses me. And I hope to always be a blessing for them, too. Each of my children have made me the best version of myself. I'll forever be grateful to be their mom. It's the best gift I've been given.”
“I will carry you, Here and there, There and here, Until I am where you are.”