Megan Torres daughter, Nova, was stillborn in 2015. She discovered that grief lasts much longer than she expected. Her mother, Michelle, balances her own grief with her desire to support her daughter. Megan’s son, Mason, shares what excited him most about being a big brother.
Mason: My sister.
Megan: My daughter.
Michelle: My granddaughter.
Megan: I had gone to a sonogram appointment, and they were having trouble getting all the measurements. And I didn’t even think anything of it. A couple weeks later, I was pulled into another room with two doctors, and they told me she’s not going to live past birth. My grief was pretty unbearable. I had already felt her moving, and I already felt like, (wipes away tears) like she was mine. I just wanted to give her the best life that I could while she was inside of me.
It was definitely something that I didn’t ever think I’d ever have to go through. It’s just like an empty feeling, which I still feel, today.
Michelle: After her delivery, I sat there, and I thought, “I’m sitting in a rocking chair, rocking a baby that didn’t really need to be rocked.” The nurse came in, and Megan just told her she loved her, and kissed her, and handed her to the nurse, and we just sat there, together, and hugged, and cried, and watched her go.
Megan was always very honest with Mason and would give him as much information as she felt he could handle. When he was younger, I don’t know how much he actually understood, while it was happening. I think as he’s gotten older, he still keeps little mementos or things that make him feel close to Nova. He’ll look up in the sky, sometimes, you know, throughout the years, and be like, “Oh, there’s a star for Nova.”
Megan: I definitely did have days, where, maybe, I didn’t want to get out of bed, but having him there, knowing I needed to take care of him, made me get out of bed. And sometimes, when I’m having a hard day, that still is what gets me up, and gets me going, and pushes me through the day. So, I feel like I owe a lot to Mason, that he might not understand now, or he doesn't even know, but I know that he will when he’s older.
Michelle: As Megan has branched off on her own, and has dealt more with her grief on her own, she’s with me less. I don’t know if I like that, all the time, because I worry about her, all the time, but I know that that’s healthy for her. I love that she’s found ways to deal with grief and to wrap her mind around what’s happened to her. I often try not to think about how it was for me. I just try to focus on Megan or Mason. And I think I do that so that I don’t have to feel the way I feel about it. She tells me, to this day, “I wish I would’ve held her more.” And I said, “Well, you did the best that you could do. We all did the best that we could do. We’re all doing the best we can do, now.”