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Ashley Darby: I Truly Appreciate the Dynamic Man Who Is My Husband

"Michael is a man who is comfortable with himself and does not shy away from his emotions."

By Ashley Darby
Monique Samuels Celebrates Her "Rainbow Baby" Were you surprised at how emotional Michael got at Monqiue's Rainbow Party?

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Ashley Darby: Michael is a man who is comfortable with himself and does not shy away from his emotions. So on the one hand, I wasn’t necessarily surprised to see him show his vulnerability. On the other, while we shared the fact of losing our baby with outsiders, we haven’t delved into the emotional element of how much it affected us both, together and individually. Michael has been my ROCK through the healing process, always saying something positive to raise my spirits when I’m low. In looking back, perhaps I have not given him the adequate space to share his feelings because he’s felt the need to be strong for me. I think being around Chris and Monique, who experienced the same devastation, really helped Michael to feel comfortable about releasing his own sadness. I truly appreciate the dynamic man who is my husband.

During the party, I saw Candiace looking at us and trying to pry her chipmunk cheeks into the intimate moment that my husband and I were sharing. We were not trying to attract anyone’s attention at the table, yet she could not keep her eyes to herself. It was rude and uncalled for, but I ignored her because the sentiment of that baby shower was of great significance. Then, to see how she reported back to Gizelle about what she claims were false tears and emotions was lower than even the scum on her crusty toes. Candiace should have been focused on the man sitting next to her and the food on her plate rather than invading our privacy. Further proof of the nuisance rodent she is - it’s time to call pest control!

Candiace Dillard Questions Ashley Darby's Intentions How did it feel sharing your story at the Rainbow Party?

AD: It was not easy for me to share my story at the Rainbow Party. First, I felt it was special to celebrate the joy that is a new life and I didn’t feel comfortable making it about me. Unlike some people in attendance, I understood the magnitude of this occasion and could empathize with the gratefulness Monique and Chris shared. We had lost our baby in June, just two months before the Rainbow baby shower. Even being the outspoken person I usually am, I wasn’t completely comfortable openly talking about it, but I appreciated Monique for giving me the opportunity to share. When I came home and reflected on everything, I felt a sense of relief about sharing that space with people who understood and cared about where Michael and I are in the healing process. What was it like sharing that healing experience at the salt cave with Karen?

AD: Initially, I didn’t think Karen was going to show up to the Bethesda Salt Cave! While she has expressed her spiritual side with me in the past, I still wasn’t sure if she would be open to going on this journey of vulnerability and openness. I’ve seen that these are not two of Karen’s strongest traits. During the healing session, however, I saw a side of her that really softened my heart. I can’t imagine the heartbreak of losing one’s parents, but I wanted to be there for Karen in any way that I could to help her cope. It was also important that she know my intentions were pure after she took such a big step to trust me during this time. When Terrie began retelling a story about a necklace that resonated with Karen, the energy in the room shifted. Seriously, there was a palpable presence in the room that made the hairs on my neck stand up. I could see that Karen felt it too - so special.

Overall, I felt a lightness when the session ended. Not only the spiritual component, but I got some incredible words of encouragement from Karen that I needed to hear right in that moment. No matter the differences we’ve had, I have always respected Karen’s motherhood and the incredible humans she’s raised. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new chapter for us!

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