They said there was no heartbeat. They said you left. They said you died inside of me. And while that is true, we both know that you never really went anywhere.

They told me that you would be born still. They said your eyes would never open, your lungs would never draw breath. They told me that you would already be gone. But we both know that you never really went anywhere.

The moments you spent in my arm were far too brief. Our time spent together seemed to end before it ever began. And then there came a moment where you left me forever. But we both know that you never really went anywhere.

Because even though you were stillborn, I still carry you with me.

I have been asked to put down your memory and move on. Some have walked away because they don’t understand why I would willingly hold on to something that has gone away. But we both know that you never really went anywhere.

There are those who think your death left a hole in me. And while your death left me feeling hollow, I am not empty. You are still there and I have built my new self around you. My life is missing you, but we both know that you never really went anywhere.

My arms may have released you, but my heart held on. I have accepted your death, but I will never let you go. You are my baby and no amount of time or distance will ever change that. And because you are my baby, I still carry you with me.

Because before I ever carried the pain of losing you, I carried you. And in my heart, I carry you still.

I will carry you always because we both know that you never really went anywhere.

And we both know that as long as my heart still beats, you will always have a place to stay. You will always have a way to be carried.

This post originally appeared on the author’s blog

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Rachel Whalen

Rachel Whalen is a writer and Kindergarten teacher who lives and loves in Vermont. She is the mother of two daughters; Frances who is 14 months old and Dorothy who was stillborn two years ago. Her daughter's silent birth has inspired her to use her voice to share about grief, pregnancy loss, and parenting after loss.