I have been both humbled and honored to be the voice of Siena in a world that would mostly like to pretend that she never existed. This weekend, at the Minnesota Catholic Home Educator's Conference, Siena was (not surprisingly) very much with me. One of my favorite parts of the weekend is always the Blogger's Gathering held at the beginning of the conference on Friday afternoon. It's such a great opportunity to come together in a small group and chat about life as wife, mom, homeschooler, and blogger. This year, however, it was also an opportunity for a lot of sharing and a lot of tears.
None of which were mine.
At one point, my friend Meghan looks at me and just exclaims, "Why aren't YOU crying?!?!"
The truth is, I can't. I can't even let myself get anywhere close to tears because then it's all over and there is no going back. Each of these people (not just at the blogger's gathering, I had several other conversations over the weekend) are coming to me with these incredible stories of their own losses and all they want is for someone to hear their story and not turn them away or tell them to get over it.
I can do that.
I'm honored to do that, in fact.
The thing is, while these women have a very real need to be heard right now and I am honored to be the person they have chosen to hear them, Siena's story is still very much being written. My own journey is still very raw and very real. Online, it is easy to take a break. To step away from Facebook, blogging, email for a day or an afternoon if I need to.
In person is a much different story.
In person the stories start to pile up emotionally and I feel like I need to hibernate a few days just to get my bearings back. I find myself very close to the ledge of wondering if I can really do and be what I am being asked to do and be. Of not being entirely sure, while so many people are reading and following, who is really listening to my story.
Sometimes the stories I hear are about a woman's own loss, other times it is more personal about Siena specifically and how she affected them. One friend looked at me in all seriousness while we were in Salt Lake City earlier in May and said, "Heidi, you will never know how many people have been touched and experienced healing as a result of Siena's life. It has just been incredible to watch."
Every one of the stories I hear validates that short, sweet life. That short, sweet life that I absolutely cannot and will not stop talking about. People have suggested many things that they think I should write about and talk about. Places they think I should write and talk. Ministries they want me to be a part of, to continue giving voice to Siena's life. This weekend, some specific requests were even made of Tim and ways that his voice could impact the ongoing conversations.
Nothing would make me happier than to someday do everyone single one of the things that others have recommended (and more), but please understand that being Siena's voice is an emotionally draining journey at a time when I am very emotionally drained. Siena's story is only her story in the context of a much greater story of our family. This has always been a story of faith and I pray that it will continue to be.
Please pray that God continues to guide all of us to the place that He would like to see this story shared next, because ultimately it has been His story all along. I told the fearless Minnesota bloggers to stay tuned because I have a feeling the next year of this story could be as incredibly powerful as the last one.
If you are visiting from the #BloggerFete 2016 Blog Link up over on Koala mom, welcome! You may be wondering why I picked this post to share. Well, this blog is about being a voice for a lot of things, but especially for my sweet girls Kenna and Siena and all of the other moms of infant loss. If you'd like to hear more about my girls and about our family, be sure to browse the buttons in the upper right sidebar.