A year of lessons

I’ve been really thankful lately.

We made it through year one mostly in one piece…at least as ‘whole’ as we can be without Sophie.

Sophie.

I’m just so thankful for her.

Her life.

Our perfect time together as a family in our little pink house. Watching her with her daddy. Her laugh. Her brown eyes. Her sass and independence. Her excitement for literally everything. Even her illness because in that she taught me so much about myself, about what really matters…and about what it means to be brave.

Truly, unflinchingly Brave.

The past year has taught me a lot about myself in the sense that I’d never have ever painted myself as someone who could live after losing a child. My mom has always said ‘If anything ever happened to you kids they’ll just need to bury me next to you.’ And ever since I got pregnant with our first and then with Sophie I’ve felt the same way.

But then it happened. My child actually died. And I couldn’t just stop living. I couldn’t get in the ground with her. Life moves forward even when yours is standing still.

But how?

The last year of loss and the 7 months before that of cancer have taught me that it’s not possible without two things-faith and your people.

We’ve been held up and supported in overwhelming ways by so many different groups of our people.

Our family. Church family. Amazing friends who are family. Coworkers. Nurses. The Childhood Cancer community. Strangers. Online communities. Organizations. Businesses. Churches. Towns. Other loss parents.

The list is long and absolutely incredible. People matter in good times but especially the ones that show up and stay around for the bad stuff. That’s what love in action looks like. Just showing up and not forgetting.

God has put such amazing people in our lives and we can only pray that over time we can be there for them as they’ve been here for us. Some days I’m just overwhelmed at how much He has provided over the last 20 months. While Sophie wasn’t healed here on earth, God has been big enough to sustain and hold us through every step. The examples of grace and provision I could list are just mind blowing…maybe one day I’ll just post a list of it all. He has been good to us even in the bad. He was so good to give us Sophie for the time we had her and He continues to be good to us in her absence and in allowing us to share her story.

So yeah, the last year has been unimaginable and hard. But it’s also been powerful. There were weddings that gave us a new sister and brother. We had birthdays full of incredible love. So many Amazing trips and opportunities to share Sophie with thousands. We’ve grown as individuals and as a couple. Our marriage is in a place that can be hard but it’s also the greatest joy in my life.

And I’m thankful.

2 thoughts on “A year of lessons

  1. It’s been 31 years for me. And something happens every day to cause me to think about her, but it doesn’t hurt anymore. I have sweet memories and sometimes I get a sense that her spirit is close and I know she is giving her mommy a hug.

    Every year I send off one balloon for her age. Thirty one balloons all at once ought to be quite a site.
    Adriana Celeste September 1988

    Blessing of continued healing to you, Sophie’s mommy.

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  2. This a rather personal question, so feel free not to answer.

    Do you ever feel that people judge you for continuing with your life? I know that most of the time, when people say they would need to be buried with their child, they are simply expressing the depth of the grief they would feel. But do you feel pressure that because you found a way forward you did not love Sophie as much? I just wonder. We have many pressures and expectations on parents, and the death of a child is often seen as the end-all-be-all of grief. I know I have had pressures and expectations placed on me after the death of my father. I wondered if you felt any.

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