While you kept on turning, death hit the pause button on my life when Francesca’s heart stopped beating. I know I am small and insignificant, just a drop in an ocean but my love for her is a spark in a sea of grey and you can see it from way up high. She is my daughter, she will forever be my daughter, she is precious, she is kind, she made the world a better place, she is loved and she deserves to be remembered. So, whenever you feel like your instincts are telling you to just sweep her under the rug and pretend that she was never here remember that before she died, she lived and her life deserves to be honored.
The best card I ever got said “when life gives you dirt, plant some flowers”. That is what I have been doing for the past six months… planting flowers in my heart and in front of our apartment building. I have cared for these beautiful flowers on my good days and my bad days, in good weather or bad, come hell or high water I cleaned Francesca’s garden and watered the flowers. I smiled when the first leaves came out from the ground but I have also cried when the first ones came to bloom. Life has give us a lot of dirt but we make a choice every day to tend to the garden in our hearts.
Same goes for the lemons I guess… life can give us the most bitter lemons but if we chose to add a little bit of sugar (to be read as LOVE) we might end up with the best lemonade ever!!!
As brushes stroke the paper mixing watercolors and painting flowers and butterflies my heart sees other things.
I see a beautiful blue eyed toddler running around me in the middle of a poppy field, I see a long haired princess having a tea party with her daddy and Tatty Teddy, I see a tiny ballerina at her very first dance recital, I see a six year old girly girl holding her Tatty Teddy really tight on her first day of school, I see an amazingly beautiful teenager who loves books and music, I see an excited young lady going on her very first date, I see a smiley lady going away to college, I see the most beautiful woman walking down the aisle her daddy by her side, I see Francesca on a poppy field and a beautiful toddler running around her and as I see the light in her eyes (the same one I have every time I think of her) I wonder… Do you suppose she is a wildflower?
She is in everything around me. She is in the air I breathe, in the wind on my face, in the flowers and the butterflies, she’s in the falling leaves and in the winter snow… she is in everything.
Her tiny ballerina feet step silent and invisible into this world but my heart can hear them and my eyes can see them even if you don’t. My heart smiles every time I see a butterfly, every time a bird sings, every time a rainbow shines because her soul is all around us. I know some find it crazy that I choose to see thing this way but her beauty has taught me to appreciate the beauty of this world, the beauty of nature and she is worth being thought of because I love her every second of every day.
Grief is like being shipwrecked on a stormy night.
In the darkness of the night you say good-bye to the ship that was your life as you watch it go down together with most of your friends. You find yourself alone and scared slowly drowning in a sea of pain. The waves keep taking you under as you fight with everything you have to survive and as you feel your power to fight give up you surrender to this grief and let the sea embrace you.
Some days the sea is calm and other times giant waves of pain will still hit you and take you under even after you think you have mastered your survival skills but as long as you know that love is more powerful than pain you can do this.
Every time I see or hear the word beautiful, her name comes to mind, I paint every letter in my head in pink watercolor and read it out loud so that the world can hear it and not forget that she was here. But today is not about her, today is about mysteries and she is not one at all, for I carry her in my heart always and I know who she is every second of every day.
She is the hope I cling on to as I step into this beautiful mystery that is our future. She is the reason for which I believe this world deserves all the love we can give it and the reason for which I choose to believe that no matter what this mysterious future holds it will be BEAUTIFUL … like her… Francesca…
There are so many things I could talk about when it comes to myths regarding grief but I’ll just chose the biggest one of all.
It’s been more than six month since we have started walking on this journey and the thing I’ve heard most often is that “TIME heals all wounds”. I’m pretty sure that the person who first said that knew nothing of child loss.
Continue reading “Capture your Grief – Day 7. Myths”
Empathy: noun, “the ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation”
Now, empathy or better yet the lack of it in my life after loss looked a bit different.
Empathy was NOT the silence of the phone that only rang once a day.
Empathy was NOT the “i’m sorry for your loss” cards that i never got or the silence that took over a room whenever I walked in.
Continue reading “Capture your Grief – Day 6. Empathy”
“Words are an incredible thing. They can say so much or so little. They can ruin friendships but they can also mend broken hearts. Words are precious, for even when they are not enough they are the only thing we have that comes close to expressing the way we feel. There are times, hell most of the times, when words are not enough, they cannot fully express how deeply you love one person or how you feel that your heart and soul are broken in millions of tiny pieces that you think you will never find again.
Sometimes words need to be heard and there are times when they only need to be spoken. Continue reading “Capture your Grief – Day 5. The Unspoken”
There are many things that I have learned on this grief journey and one of them is the meaning of support.
Support is the husband that holds you in his arms and rubs your back while you cry your eyes out even when others think you should have “gotten over it by now”.
Support is the teddy you carried out of the hospital when you were unable to take your baby home like everyone else.
Continue reading “Capture your Grief – Day 4. Support Circles”