'To My Fellow Loss Mom': Kara Keough Bosworth Pens Note to Other Moms Who Have Experienced the Loss of a Child 6 Months After Her Son's Passing

‘To My Fellow Loss Mom’: Kara Keough Bosworth Pens Note to Other Moms Who Have Experienced the Loss of a Child 6 Months After Her Son’s Passing

On April 12, Kara Keough Bosworth birthed the son she named McCoy. Sadly, shortly after he was born, McCoy passed away just hours after entering into the world. According to Good Morning America, six days prior to the day he was born, “McCoy experienced shoulder dystocia and a compressed umbilical cord, which caused severe brain damage.”

A series of tests that would take days to complete revealed that McCoy was “unlikely to ever regain consciousness.” Now, the former Real Housewife is opening up about the loss of her son six months later.

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October 15 was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance. Kara Keough Bosworth wrote that while it’s a club no one wants to be apart of, the mom reflected on what it is like to be a member of the club and what that means to her.

“To My Fellow Loss Mom,” Bosworth began. “I wish there was something else I could call you, something else I could call myself. ‘Angel Mom’ feels too fluffy, and ‘Bereaved Mother’ sounds like we should be wearing black lace and howling on our knees in a stone church somewhere.”

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Six months ago, I laid my eyes on you for the first time. I turned your big body around then looked at Daddy with a mixture of shock and pride and said, “It’s a boy.” Three hours later, I limped into the NICU to start what would be my first and last days of kissing you. Somehow, I kissed you a lifetime’s worth of kisses in six days. All without one kiss back. I still think about what it felt like to kiss you, and that I never got kissed back. It all still makes my throat ache like I’m being choked. I hate that the thought of kissing you creates this painful and involuntary spasm. I’d much rather be thinking of that involuntary happiness spasm that would overtake your body as a 6-month-old. Oh what I’d do to see those little joyful jolts, with your chubby arms air-pumping and flapping while your legs do that spring-loaded kick combo. Would we be dropping a nap, hearing you laugh, starting solids? Would all my shirts have drool pools on them? Would nursing you prove to be more of an Olympic effort around this time? And just where am I supposed to put all this love? This love that I reserved just for you? I still put it in you, of course. The love doesn’t leave just because you did. It’s a hard lesson to learn. I was feeling my love for you spilling out of me, in the form of tears, guttural sobs, and that worthless guilt. But there are better ways to feel my love for you. Missing you something terrible doesn’t have to be the only way to miss you. I want to miss you wonderfully. As in, full of wonder. Recently, your Daddy held me as he told me: “Each day, when you feel that strong breeze, or the sun hits your face, or you hear our daughter laugh… that’s our son loving his mama.” I considered the beauty in my life and how, like your Daddy said, each one of those little happy winks are you loving me. It’s you kissing me back. And that made my throat soften, and my heart open. And that, my boy, is the gift you’ve given me. A heart broken wide open is still an open heart. We love you, McCoy. And we miss you something wonderful.

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“Don’t get me wrong, we’re absolutely still howling. But we’re doing it in yoga pants. Lululemons just do a better job of hiding our postpartum bellies and helping us avoid questions like, ‘When are you due?’ or worse, ‘How’s the baby?!’ That’s one thing even grief counselors don’t warn you about: how you’ll have to break the news of your child’s loss to strangers, insurance agents, employers, acquaintances, TSA agents, everyone.”

Bosworth continued by saying it almost feels like a personal attack when the rest of the world continues moving even though their “hearts are this broken.” Broken to the point where they should be required to “a sticker that reads ‘FRAGILE: Handle with care’ because we’re one trigger away from racing back to that worst moment.”

“For some, that worst moment has a soundtrack: ‘There’s no heartbeat.’ For some, like myself, that moment stretches over the course of six days. For most, it’s the moments before the moment — the ‘if I had only,’ the ‘if I could have just,’ or the ‘why didn’t I?’ These questions plague all of us, the ones we ask ourselves and others, the desperate plea: How could I have saved my baby?”

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As the mom candidly writes, many mothers who experience the loss of a child blame themselves “not because we did anything to harm our children, but because we’re their mothers, and protecting them is our most sacred duty.” Bosworth then writes about the way in which people on the outside react to what grieving mothers are going through.

“People say the wrong things and people say right things that feel wrong. The ‘at least you know you can get pregnant,’ or the ‘I wouldn’t be standing if I were you’ are the wrong things. Talk of ‘God’s plan,’ ‘your strength,’ and the ‘I haven’t stopped crying for you’ are right things that feel wrong. Some days the right thing is a friend pulling you out of bed and handing you a cup of coffee. Other days, the right thing is just staying in bed and feeling it all. […] Those who show up and ask nothing are the best kinds of friends. The friends that can sit quietly with us without feeling the need to fill the silence with the ‘I’m sorry’s that don’t bring our babies back but instead make us feel like we need to respond with, ‘It’s OK,’ when it isn’t.”

Eventually, though, time makes it easier to think about them, smile at the mention of their name, and it makes it easier to try to find the things that remind you of them. “Milestones hit us like bricks and time feels jumbled. How has it already been so long? And who would they be today?”

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You would have been three months old today. But instead, I’m three months into the deepest pain I’ve ever felt. I’ve survived three months when I didn’t think I’d live another three seconds. How has it been so long since I smelled you and felt your weight? Each day since you were born has felt like the longest day, a summer solstice of suffering. And yet, somehow, time is passing. Time is pushing on, moving my body begrudgingly into another day. Another day further away from the last time I held you in my arms. Who would you be today? Would you be blonde still, or bald? Would you smile bigger for mommy’s singing or with daddy’s beard tickling your belly? Would your sister be sneaking into your room and trying to lift you out of your crib even though we’ve told her not to three times already? Would she even be able to lift you by now? Would you track the dogs with your eyes, discovering your love for them already? Would you swipe your hands at all your new best friends, reaching out to pull hats and bows off their heads? Would we be FaceTiming with Caden, visiting Charlie, and taking pictures with Duke? Would your Uncle Korey be as obsessed with you as he is with your sister? Would missing grandpa be easier with you here? What would our days look like with you in them? We’re still making room for you in everything we do. We kiss you goodnight, we say “hi baby” when we see signs of you, we feel you everywhere. There’s a space where you should be, but each day it’s feeling less like a gaping hole and more like an invisible fullness. We love you, McCoy.

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And although it’s a club no one wants to be apart of, “every day, every minute, another mother joins us in this club.” But with that also comes a support system like no other, Bosworth writes.

“The instant bond that ignites between two women when we sit together in this pain is almost spiritual. Sorrow like this, grief like ours, carves profound depth into our souls,” she writes. “We’re no longer flat, shiny objects, but we’re instead embossed by our loss. Somehow more beautiful for it.”

“Grief can be an incredible gift.” – Kara Keough Bosworth

If it’s not wasted, Bosworth admits. “After the initial haze, the lens through which we see the world sharpens our view. It’s almost like that first victorious gulp of air after being underwater too long, so much more treasured than the sip before. In grief, the spirit of the Earth somehow reveals herself to us.”

RELATED: Kara Keough Bosworth Shares Tribute to Late Son on What Would’ve Been His 4-Month Birthday

And the grief she was forced to endure has also revealed just “how many people love” her.

“Yes, being a mother with empty arms becomes a strange juxtaposition. More joyful despite suffering, more alive despite death and more loving despite loss. We ask ourselves, ‘Where are we supposed to put all this love, all this love that we had reserved for them?’ The answer becomes so clear: all around us, of course, and into them, still. Most importantly — and with no hesitations — we must put the love back into ourselves once again.”

As Kara Keough Bosworth writes, “Terry Tempest Williams insists, ‘Grief dares us to love once more.’ So, to grief, we respond, ‘You triple dog dare me?'”

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