Saturday, May 26, 2012

Right Where I Am: Two Years, Two Months, Ten Days

I can hardly believe it's been over two years since I last held my daughter. In ways it seems like it just happened, yet it also seems like so much time has passed. Isn't it odd how so much of my life, all 8,317 days I've lived, is focused around, because of, and affected by 

March 16th, 2010.

One flicker in light of eternity. One soul out of billions. Yet, because of this one little life, everything about me and my future has been forever altered. Others, too, are changed. I won't understand how many have been affected by her life until the day I arrive home. And that's okay. All I need to know is that her life had meaning. It mattered. 

And I know it did.

Time keeps marching on. Each year bringing with it newness, growth, change. Each year another without her by my side. Each year, wondering what she'd be like if she were here.

I no longer mark the 16th of each month. Occasionally, I will realize it's the 16th, which will remind me what the 16th means to me. But, it's not always on the forefront of my mind.

I don't read babyloss blogs like I once did. I try to keep up with some. They were once a lifeline, now they are an occasional read.

Grief changes, just as the seasons. How strange it is that I am like a "veteran" in this world of babyloss. I can encourage others and tell them what they might expect in the coming months. I am coming to understand more and more that though the rawness isn't there like it once was, a continual still comes and can feel so fresh. Just not as often. I now know how to handle it. I know that it will pass. The grief, the love, has become etched into the very fabric of my being. It is so much a part of me that I cannot even remember life before Lily. I cannot remember not having a grieving mother's heart. My life is marked as either "before Lily" or "after Lily." The shock of losing her has worn off and it is now just a part of me.

"Her life had moved on, and she tried her best to live in the moment. But their baby remained in the shadows, a constant presence, there in Emma's mind the way the date or day of the week was there. She didn't go through the hours reminding herself constantly that this was Friday. It simply was Friday. And that fact stayed subtly with her, coloring the background of everything else about the day. It was like that with their baby." ~Karen Kingsbury in her book, Shades of Blue

Losing Lily and loving Lily colors every moment of my every day. Though I don't think of her nonstop, she is always there, in the back of my mind, in the midst of everything. My mom said just as her four living children are always in her thoughts, it is only natural for me as a mother to have my child in my thoughts. Just because she isn't here doesn't change that mother's love. Every day, there are so many reminders of her.

"Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color."
~W.S. Merwin

I am determined to not allow feelings, emotions, and grief to rule me. I look to Jesus Christ for my comfort, joy, and security. My hope is in Him. My hope is in eternity. My future rests in His hands. I don't know if I will ever have another baby, a healthy baby, to raise on earth. What a gift that would be.

I don't feel like I fit in anywhere. Not with singles, not with those in their 20s, not even with babyloss parents. Because I am not in a place where I can try again. And I see everyone else go on to have their "rainbow babies." Will I get my rainbow one day?

How easy it is to start feeling self-pity. I won't give in to that. Though I don't know what's to come, I trust the Lord wants what's best. He has my life, my future, Lily's life and legacy all in the palm of His hand. And I trust that. I cling to that. No matter if I never hold another child on earth that's mine, I will still love and trust Him.

"However time or circumstance may come between a mother and her child, their lives are interwoven forever." ~Pam Brown

No amount of time could change my love or take away my grief. No separation, not even the grave, could change my mother's heart. I realize that this is a life-long journey, this grief, just as I will forever be a mother. I will never be "over it," but I have accepted it. I am thankful for her life, despite how it all ended. I am thankful for the gift of knowing her, carrying her, loving her. Thankful I get to call her mine. I am learning that it's okay even if others seem to forget my daughter. I know I will never forget and that's what's important.  I am learning how to incorporate her into my life, each day. What it means to honor and love her. What it means to mother my daughter of Heaven.

What joy, what joy for those whose hope is in the name of the Lord.
What peace, what peace for those whose confidence is Him alone.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

Take some time to share about where you are over on Angie's blog.



  1. Big hugs, Hannah. I feel like that, too, and often -- wondering where I fit. I think about that especially in our community. We attend a small church, and suddenly we don't seem to fit anywhere -- we're not young marrieds without kids, but we also don't fit with the new parents either. And there aren't many people who have gone through trauma and devastation -- although I'm blessed to be able to discuss our stuff freely with the few who have. But it's hard to know where we fit. I guess really...the only place that it's important to fit is into the palm of God's hand, and there's room and place enough for everyone there. Grateful for that.

  2. Your first paragraph was just magical. So incredibly beautiful and so spot on.
    Thank you for this.

  3. the quote from Karen Kingsbury describes this new normal perfectly. I am so sorry for your loss of Lily. Thank you for sharing where you are now.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing right where you are. You capture it beautifully, like Sally, I thought the first paragraph was beautiful. Thank you again. xo

  5. I love the name Lily. I am so sorry she's not here with you now.

    Like you, I too find it so strange to be on the "veteran" side of babyloss. My wounds still feel so raw, and yet, I know I've come so far in 20 months since he died.

    Thank you for sharing your words.

    Sending you love, and every hope that you do get your rainbow one day.


  6. Beautiful pics of LIly. Thank you for sharing. <3

  7. A lot of what you wrote is where I am in my grief, it is weird because I remember in the beginning thinking I would never get to this part (more because I didn't want to). It's nice to know that someone else feels close to what I feel very day. I am choosing not to let my grief rule my life...doesn't mean that my son is any less important...I look at it like it is a gift to him to live in the present than in the past. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. One flicker in light of eternity. One soul out of billions. Yet, because of this one little life, everything about me and my future has been forever altered.

    So beautifully written and so true. Lily Katherine, such a precious name for such a dear little girl.

    I also cannot remember what it is like not to have a grieving mother's heart. I agree with your mom, our children are always in our thoughts even if they are not in our arms.

    I'm so sorry that you are feeling as though you don't fit in anywhere. It must be very difficult to go through this experience at such a young age. I hope and trust that you will hold your rainbow in your arms when the time is right.

    Remembering your dear Lily Katherine and Luke Shiloh xo

  9. This is so beautiful. You're an amazing writer. I too cannot remember what it was like before I had a grieving mother's heart. There is so much hope in knowing we will see our daughters in heaven. Blessings, thank you for sharing.

  10. "losing Lily and loving LIly colours every moment of my every day". Exactly this, thankyou.

  11. So many things you wrote here resonate with me..

    "Losing Lily and loving Lily colors every moment of my every day"
    - Yes, exactly. Everything is coloured with Aidan.

    I don't feel like I fit in anywhere. Not with singles, not with those in their 20s, not even with babyloss parents. Because I am not in a place where I can try again. And I see everyone else go on to have their "rainbow babies." Will I get my rainbow one day?
    - Oh, how I feel this.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Thinking of you and your Lily, and hoping with you for a rainbow.

  12. I have visited your blog before, during a different and similar time in my life. We've been in some similar places.

    You sound very peaceful and I admire that. I will hope, hope, hope, for something wonderful to come for you sometime.

  13. Beautiful words. Without my faith in God and knowing I will see my three children one day I don't believe I would have survived the last 2+ years...I am glad you have that faith too. Thank you for very sorry for your loss...maybe one day we will meet and our children will play :) <3

  14. This is lovely.

    I lost my little girl, Margaret Joy, on March 16, 2012. Reading this feels like a glimpse into my journey, two years from now. Thank you.

  15. Learning that it's okay even if others seem to forget my daughter
    I don't think I've gotten there. I've gotten as far as trusting that some people will remember him.
    Thank you for sharing in this project.

  16. You are an amazing writer with the ability to capture the many twisting emotions beautifully. There is LOVE, such love in this post. Thank you Hannah.

    And yes, I find it very, very strange to be a "veteran" of this now.

  17. Oh, Hannah. This is so very beautiful. I love how you write about Lily being in your thoughts every day. I love the quotes you've found and the way your writing twines around them.

    And I love your faith. As someone constantly struggling with my own, it's beautiful to see how strong yours is.

    Love to you.

  18. Thank you for sharing your sweet Lily with us. I'm so sorry she's not with you. Hoping with you for a rainbow in the future.


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