July 18, 2011

Right Where I Am Project: 141,471 Words Later

This piece is dedicated to the 160 babyloss parents who took part in Angie's epic Right Where I Am project (as of July 18) and to all of our babies that were lost. It is also dedicated to the thousands of faceless parents around the world that lose babies every year (some 30,000 in America alone). I originally joined the project because I wanted to soak up as much as I could from everyone who has gone before us. And as I feel Margot slipping away from me as the days without her trudge on, I felt like this was a way for me to be close to her and to honor her death. So, I read and read and read, all the way up to last night, when I read and filed away the 160th post in the project.

I just want to say a huge thank-you to all of the babyloss parents who participated. Words cannot describe the gratitude I feel for each one of you, whether you are years out from your loss or just a few weeks or months. Each and every post, whether heart breaking or hopeful or a blend of the two, was so meaningful and raw and beautiful in it's own right. There is solace in this beautiful mess of a community we have formed since all of our losses. I titled this piece Right Where We Are because in some strange and mysterious way, no matter how many miles separate us, we are in this TOGETHER. There is strength in numbers and I pull from your strength every day.

Cold is the water
It freezes your already cold mind
Already cold, cold mind
And death is at your doorstep
And it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance

But you are not alone in this
And you are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand
Hold your hand

- Mumford and Sons. "Timshel." Sigh No More.

If you're interested in having this file for yourselves, please leave a comment below with your email so I can send you the file (it's really large and downloading it from here won't allow you to print it full size).

A few notes on the project:

- Basically, I took one word or a few words or a sentence from every single post and added to the piece. Each line and color represents a new post, starting with the first post and ending with Angie's. I read every post at least twice and looked for a theme within that post. Whether it was sad or hopeful or depressing or content, I tried to honor that person's post with what I chose to include in the document.

- On a deeper level, to begin with, I also put all of the collective posts together in one document and then read through the document as a whole piece to see if I could find lots of repeated ideas that were communicated. For example, how we will all miss our babies forever or how hard it was for so many people to deal with friends or how anxiety filled the subsequent pregnancy was...stuff like that. And then I tried to include this kind of thing as well from different posts that were written for the project.

- Special love goes out to Sally (Hopes Mama) and Jill (Only A Whisper) - they commented on almost every single post in the entire project. I felt their presence as I read and copied and pasted for hours on end.

- All in all, there were approximately 141,471 words written or 239 pages in my word document. This doesn't include a few BLM's that had private blogs that I couldn't access.

- I went over and over through this piece to make sure I didn't leave out any baby names. I hope I got them all, and I'm fairly certain I did (excluding those who have private blogs that I couldn't access). But if I missed one, please let me know and I can add their name in.

- The original document itself is 4800 X 6000 pixels and 300 DPI, so it prints really clearly at 16 X 20 inches.


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