I was feeling a little hesitant about whether I should acknowledge this day publicly - it seemed the last time I mentioned Lilia online, it caused a small firestorm of comments that hurt me deeply and had me crying on and off all day. But the truth is, this is my little space of the world and she is and always will be a part of our family and our story. Read more here, here, and here.
And if there is anything I've learned from the baby loss community, it's that so many women feel as though they can't talk about the child they've lost. If this post helps just one other woman feel ok about continuing to grieve the loss of a pregnancy or child - I'll put myself out there.
It has been 526 days since I found out you were gone.
Some of those days have been soul-crushingly hard. Some of those days I didn't want to get out of bed and face the world without you growing inside of me. Some of those days, the very sight of other little girls would bring me to tears. Some of those days I was angry, some of those days I felt like I couldn't breathe. Some of those days I wondered why God had taken you - my daughter - from me without any warning. Some of those days I felt alone and abandoned by people I thought were my friends.
But some of those days I felt alive again, I felt joy and happiness and peace in my heart. Some of those days I felt so madly in love with God I wanted to sing His praises as loud as I possibly could. Some of those days I laughed and I smiled and some of those days I enjoyed coffee and good conversations with friends who weren't afraid to talk about you. Some of those days I enjoyed the sunshine and the feel of the ocean waves as they lapped against my toes in the warm sand. Some of those days I enjoyed a new life growing inside of me, your brother Declan.
It has been 526 days since I found out you were gone and while the ache has dulled some, I am still amazed at the sadness I feel when I think of you. I never got a chance to watch you grow or see you take your first steps, but I know with all that is in me that you are walking with Jesus, blonde hair streaming behind you as you laugh. It is painful that I know nothing about you, but it is comforting to know I can spend eternity getting to know you, getting to memorize every perfect feature on your face.
This past year has pulled me closer to and further from God more times than I thought possible. It feels like a constant tug of war between Him and I, but He never stops tugging. He never stops chasing me, and His love never fails. I am reading a book and the author says one of the best things she learned was to embrace the tension of God. It is too difficult to make sense of it all - too hard to make Him fit into the box of humanness we so often try to force him into. In our limited perspective, the best thing to do is embrace the tension.
And so I find that I am learning to do just that. To embrace the unexplained - I don't know why you aren't here, but I don't understand a lot of things when it comes to God and that's ok.
I do know this. You are loved. You are remembered. Your story has impacted many women who write to tell me so - and because of that, I can find a little peace in your absence. Last year, your story caught the attention of some authors who wrote a book on baby loss and they shared with me their story of loss by sending me their book. I am grateful for the impact you have made and that other women who have been through this feel a little comfort knowing they are not alone.
Until I see your beautiful face,
Always your Mommy