Since the death of my daughter, Easter has become so much more beautiful to me. Easter is the holiday that gives me hope about my daughter’s existence and new life. Easter is everything to me! Now when I hear those sermons, and the preacher asks, “Do you really believe this?”, I can answer a resounding YES! That question is no longer cerebral, something I can mull over and contemplate the rest of the week. That question is personal; it is the question that decides how you will deal with grief.
Today, I got the news that a friend had lost her baby at birth. Even though it’s been almost four years since losing Hope, and even though I have heard of so many sweet babies passing away, my heart breaks anew each time I hear those words.
Grief is such a tricky thing. It’s always in the back of my mind, which is fine because that means that Hope, Jonah, and January are always in my mind too. But sometimes, unexpected moments can trigger grief to come roaring back to the surface.
I would like to suggest that Christmas is actually meant for people who are suffering and grieving. When you understand the true meaning of Christmas, it suddenly becomes a time of healing and hope instead of a season of pain and isolation.
After my daughter passed away, I clung to books as a way to process and understand what had happened to me. Reading about other people’s journeys through grief gave me hope that one day I would be able to find happiness again and be able to live without the cloud of grief enveloping me every moment of every day.
I wish I remembered more of her pregnancy and life, but the trauma of her death has erased a lot of my memories. But I don’t want Hope to only be defined by the tragedy of her loss. I want to talk about who she was and how much I love her.
I was often worried about how our grief would affect Matthias and how it would change my parenting. I knew that it would have an impact on his life, but I didn’t know if I was going to permanently scar him because of the depth of sorrow he saw in me.