Giving thanks

Our first year of losing Allie was brutal and gave us no reason for giving thanks. I was angry and bitter at everyone else who went about their business after Allie died, as if nothing happened. How dare people mark holidays with festivities and gifts, when there is so much pain and sorrow elsewhere?? I cried to myself why the world won’t just stop turning and moving because I need to just cry and cry and wail. Why don’t people understand how our lives are no longer what they were?

Two years later, and I think I finally have a grip of our new reality. For me, it has taken two years to realize she’s really not coming back. I miss her. So very much, and I need her. I’ve had dark throughts but thankfully have dismissed them quickly. God is kind, merciful and good in blessing us with beautiful children to live for. I don’t know what I would have done if Allie was our only child.

I wish I could tell everyone who lost their child that life can become beautiful again. Life won’t look like the beautiful you’ve experienced in the past; life will look beautiful in the knowledge that everything and everyone has a purpose, that the small issues are not worth the expenditure of effort, that each moment you touch a life is meaningful. Yes, life still won’t always look beautiful all the time after two years. It just becomes bearable enough that I find beauty again in the living.

The journey without a child drags for what seems like 2020 times two. I’ve felt like each day filled me with a dread of pain and anxiety, only to stop and look back at how so many things transpired in that short period of time. And two years is a short time span. For many, two years is the difference between having a high school junior and a college freshman or a baby in diapers to toddler running in circles. But for a parent who lost their child, two years is all to short, all too recent, and all too empty at times.

But in these two years, I’ve seen glimmers of hope and love. Happiness comes, and I have allowed myself to swim in that happiness without feeling the guilt that my daughter is gone and can’t be happy with me. I pray and pray, even when my belief in my faith has wavered. I have to pray and keep believing, because that’s the only way I can know that I have a chance to see my girl again – my happy-go-lucky girl, with her big bright smile, infectious laugh, and boundless energy. I can’t wait to see her again someday.