It has been a while since I have written to you, not because I didn't want to write but because words would get jumbled and I couldn't quite figure out what I wanted to say. These letters I write are important and I don't ever want the message to get lost in a mess of words.
It has been nearly four years since I had to say hello and goodbye in the same moment. Four years have passed in what feels like the blink of an eye. How has this much time passed since I held you in my arms for the only time, given mere moments to last me a lifetime? That, I cannot answer.
What I can answer is that nearly four years later I am still learning to live without you. Life continues to go on and I have had to learn how to continue on. The piece of my heart that went with you is still missing, but yet I still stand here before the world, breathing, even if only barely some days.
They say time heals all wounds but THIS IS A LIE. Time does not heal a wound that is soul-deep. What time does is teach you how to live WITH it. I have you on my mind all the time, carrying you with me as I walk this path. This journey is not one I would wish upon even my worst enemy because it is the hardest storm I have ever weathered. You learn how to live your life with this big gaping hole that never heals. This becomes your new normal, if normal can even exist in your lexicon. You do go on, but it is with new eyes, fresh lenses that show you what the world is worth, the beauty, sadness, reality and ugliness to it all.
You are no longer naive, you begin to see the ugly truths in the world, hidden amongst the shadows. For me, your sister came along very shortly after you, and this brought on a whole new view of having a baby. I cherished every second that I was pregnant, rarely slept, went completely natural during my pregnancy for fear that something would happen to her too.Everything scared me, made me nervous and I could barely think about anything else. I couldn't fight that battle twice, I couldn't lose a second time. I was scared the whole time. And when she was born, I was scared because something might happen while I slept...so I never slept at night. I slept when others were keeping a very close eye on her. I don't think I slept a single night her entire first year and now...she's going to be three. Was it my pained vigilance that kept her here? I don't know but I wouldn't change it for a second. There are so many things in my past I would change but not who I was once you were gone.
Here we are, nearly four years later, and I am still learning how to cope, how to breathe, how to live without you. I have been working on ideas for your birthday. I am still promoting those random acts of kindness in your honor. I speak your name louder than ever before, because every time I don't, a little piece of you dies which means a little piece of me dies. And we can't have that. The world will know your name and it will echo on the whispers of the wind.
I do not let your death define me. I do not let your death occupy all of my emotions and thoughts. I do not let your death control me. While some days are hard, when I realize that I will never think about getting papers together for you to start school, or if you would take ballet with your sisters, I can find a quiet peace in knowing that YOU WERE REAL. Your tiny foot left an imprint so deep no one could forget it. I rejoice in knowing you at all. There is beauty in that. Your death opened my eyes wider and brighter than they have ever been.
Some day, I will understand the pain that has been given to me in your loss. Until then, I keep breathing, keep walking, keep writing, in hopes that I can help someone else that is grieving their child. So they can begin to see that there is beauty in suffering, that GREAT things come from a great loss. You, my sweet bean, are doing greater things than I could have ever imagined.
And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain, when you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. ~Haruki Murakami
I love you darling girl,
I miss you,
Do not judge the bereaved mother. She comes in many forms. She is breathing but she is dying. She may look young, but inside she has become ancient. She smiles, but her heart sobs. She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS but she IS NOT, all at once. She is here but part of her is elsewhere for eternity. ~Unknown