Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fifteen years...

Fifteen years ago today my oldest daughter passed away. Every year I expect it to be easier but it isn't.

We miss her everyday, but with three other children that were all born after Heather had already passed away we have to enjoy our life with them too. They all know her and love her and can tell stories about her as if they knew her, because well they do, by proxy. We have talked about Heather, her photos are in the house and her name is spoken often.

Loosing a child is difficult. When Heather passed away my husband and I lost some of our identity. We suddenly lost a title, we suddenly felt that we were no longer 'Mom' and 'Dad'.

The hardest question for me to answer still is "How many children do you have?" Sometimes I feel like saying do you want the long answer or the short one. Or sometimes I just give the short one because it's easier. If I say three I would feel guilty remembering my two angels in heaven. The first child we lost was a son. Samuel was stillborn at 27 weeks, Heather was just over a year old when we lost Samuel and we thought it was the hardest thing we would ever have to go through. Unfortunately we were wrong.

Loosing Heather was definitely the hardest thing we have ever survived. The fact that we can play and laugh with the three wonderful children that we have now, is a miracle.

The physical pain you feel at the loss of a child is excruciating. It takes effort to walk, talk, and even breathe. Just like a physical pain that you learn to live with loosing a child is a pain that you learn to live with, it doesn't go away. Emotionally we will never be the same. I am not the same carefree parent person I was before. I am not the same person period. I am a person who has loved, lost, and loved. I can remember the first time I smiled after she died, not the fake smile when someone asked if I was OK but a really truthful, 'I feel happy smile'. It was the day that Jam was born. I held my son in my arms and smiled. Not that he replaced her in anyway - just that as you add a child to your family your heart seems to grow. He helped mine heal just a little bit.

If someone asked me if I would do it again, I would say yes. The love that Heather brought into our lives was definitely worth the pain we feel missing her. If we love we know that one day the ones we love will die. Sometimes their time on earth is shorter than we want, but if we love - it is always worth it.

Since the day we lost Heather I have witnessed other parents go through similar situations. I say similar because no loss is the same. I feel the pain all over again. When our eyes meet we share a moment, a connection, that only a parent who loses a child can understand. With that look we tell each other, you can do this, you are strong, you love, and you are loved.

So yes it's been fifteen years, but I still love, and miss her everyday. I am just better at dealing with the pain.

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1 comment:

  1. Love you for expressing you thoughts and feeling.


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