There are no rules for grieving a child taken too soon; no playbook, no bereaved parenting for dummies with step by step instructions on how and when to heal, no degree you earn that certifies you whole & healthy. I used to wonder why that was, before I experienced this kind of devastating earth shattering loss myself: why there isn’t a guide for what bereaved parents where going through in a world full with people more than willing to give you their two cents.
I don’t wonder anymore. Now, I know the reality of living without a piece of your soul, without your child by your side.
Now, I know.
I know that there is no right way to heal; no amount of DIY books or tutorials could get the steps right. There is no day marked in highlighter on the calendar in which you will wake up whole and completely healed. No passage of time that completely heals the scars losing a child leaves on your heart and mind. No time machine to jump into to take you back to the time before; the time before you learned the reality of child loss. A time before you and your whole world changed, before a part of your heart went missing from this world, a time when you recognized the person staring back at you in the mirror.
There will be days filled with heart ache and darkness. Days filled with light and hope (I promise you, they are coming). Sometime the darkness will overcome you and the sunshine in your world will be quick, overcast, and fleeting. And then, when you least expect it, the sun will shine through and hope will once again fill your heart if you choose to allow it.
So choose. Choose to open your mind, heart, and soul to the love and light in this world. Choose to see the rays of light shinning through the storm clouds. Chose to give yourself the grace to have heartache and pain as well as uninhibited joy; never ignoring either when they pass through your life. Chose to see the loved ones still walking this earth beside you ready and willing to take your hand. Chose to honor your child with every breath that you take by breathing and living, truly living, without them by your side.
This choice will not be an easy one. There will be days when you consciously have to put one foot in front of the other to complete the simplest of tasks. There will be days that seem to drag on, without end, even when you’re begging and screaming on your knees for the sun to set. But then, there will be days when it feels as if you and flying on the wings of your angel. Days when you can physically feel the light that is now a part of your child beaming down on you and shinning through in everything that you do: these days are worth every tear, every bit of heartache so embrace every day.
Embrace the bad days as much as you embrace the good because without either where would we be? Without embracing the pain and heartache that comes with remembering our children we’d be left in a world where our child doesn’t exist and no amount of joy or happiness is worth forgetting the sweet baby that once grew in your womb.
You’ve taught me so much baby boy. I never realized how much someone can be a part of our lives without physically being here with us. You’re presence in this world, in our family, & with your siblings resonates with me everyday. I see you in everything that we do and all that we are; your short life impacted our world more than you will ever know.
I will forever be thankful for the signs you send us, reminding us that you are never far away. The forget me nots, previously unnoticed, that now seems to pop up everywhere; their tiny, but perfect blooms reminding me of your precious body we held for far too short of time. The way my mind automatically sees you when I watch your brothers at play: they are getting along better and better every day, quickly becoming best friends, you would be so proud. The way every kick your sister makes resonates in my heart, in my soul, and reminds me of the sweetest kicks I used to feel while you where growing in my womb. I know you’re watching over her as she grows; keeping her safe and healthy until I can hold her in my arms as I had hoped and dreamed to hold you.
Although I will always miss you and long for you in our lives, I know in my heart that you are where you belong, in the arms of the Angels causing unimaginable mischief; I am more thankful for that realization than you could ever imagine and I count down the days until I hold you in my arms again baby boy.
Mommy loves you Everett. Always & Forever. From this world into the next.