Remembering Liam Everyday: A Loss Mom’s Perspective


Last month we recognized Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness to celebrate all the little lives that we have lost. Those of us who have lost a baby during any stage of pregnancy or beyond, appreciate this recognition along with the events that take place to help us honor our children. However, for Loss Moms, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day or Month is not enough. For me, every day I am excruciatingly aware that my son is not with me.

Liam. Just the utterance of his name brings to me a flood of emotion and sadness.

Liam, my first born. Liam, my first son, who died before he could utter his first breath. Since he died in the distant past, I have become accustomed to thinking about him in silence. It’s a comfortable type of grief that is always present. Sadness thinking about what might have been, had he survived. Happiness remembering carrying him in my belly for eight months. It feels good to remember him on my terms and share my story when I am prepared to do so.

Many people in my daily life do not even know I lost my son.

I have changed jobs and moved since then. When his name is spoken aloud, even eight years later, the pain still startles me. I can be anywhere and some random conversation will bring me to this place of despair. There is no rhyme or reason as to when his presence becomes strikingly known to me.

This past week, a mom who was an attendee of a new mom’s group that I host, said his name. “Liam is a very popular name right now,” she said. Several of her friends had named their new baby “Liam.” It certainly wasn’t as popular eight years ago, I thought. My mind began to drift. My husband picked the name Liam from the start and I had not liked it. During my entire pregnancy, the name sounded foreign to me. Next, my mind became filled with images of my son. I’m sure she wasn’t expecting the blank face I now had. She looked puzzled at my lack of reply. I wasn’t sure what to do in that moment.

Yes, I was in a mom’s group. Yes, mom’s groups are generally safe places. However, I am the host of this particular group.

I am usually genuine to a fault. But I couldn’t bear to tell this new mama, with a four-month-old smiling baby boy sitting in front of me, my sad story.

So the sadness sits with me all day instead. I cry later in my car alone.

This summer, to my surprise, I found myself explaining the death of my son to a group of six and seven-year-old boys. At a kid’s birthday party, my son Braeden apparently told some boys that he had a brother who had died. Here I am on my second glass of wine, enjoying a summer day, when suddenly I am cornered on a front porch by five little boys. They wanted to confirm his story. Had Braeden’s brother really died? Yes. I confirmed it. Then came more questions. “Why did your baby die?” Not another parent in sight to redirect or distract them. Their innocent faces looking at me for answers were brutal. It was hard to keep it together then. I broke down minutes after they rode off on their bikes.

Being in the “baby field” has been a blessing and a curse. At times I find other women with similar experiences and feel safe sharing it all. Other times, it’s not okay for a multitude of reasons. Working in this field, I often feel torn. I want to be okay with sharing my son’s life and my story to raise awareness and help other women feel they aren’t alone. Many of us have experienced miscarriage and infant loss, and many choose not to speak about it at all because they feel others won’t understand. In my work, I see many moms with healthy, thriving babies who don’t really want to know my story. It’s sad and tragic and frigin’ scary. It is a shocking story to hear and hard to shake once you do. 

Moms who have lost a baby at any stage–for us, every day is a remembrance day. When family and friends remember my Liam, I am so touched. Mostly on his birthday, I get a few messages. I get a renewed sense that I want to do more to support moms. Yet, I find myself overwhelmed with the task. Others are doing a great job at providing space for moms to grieve. Over the years, I have met several moms who I’ve been able to support. I have volunteered at a six-week Pregnancy and Infant Loss Process Group as well. It takes a huge toll on me emotionally, so I had to stop. There are lots of online resources such as Still Standing magazine and more hospital-based support groups out there now that didn’t exist in 2008.

Moms should be supported. People should understand that it’s okay to talk about it. I want people to understand that the love, the grief, the pain never fully goes away. We are mothers regardless. 


  1. Oh, Diana, this is so sad and honest and heartbreaking. You do a wonderful job of explaining the never ending cycle of grief and mourning – like you say, it never goes away. I had a miscarriage years ago and still feel that pain, and many moms around me have lost children of all ages. It’s a mother’s worst nightmare.

    Thank you for sharing this and providing resources. As much as we would like to “get over it”, it’s a pain that never, ever goes away, the best we can do is find a solid support system. Much love, Amanda

Comments are closed.