Two months have gone by since we gave our little girl back to Heaven… a blink in the face of eternity, but it feels like so much longer in the lonely expanse of the days spent without her. Some days I am able to smile as her sisters talk about her coloring up in Heaven, or when I feel relief that I don’t have to protect her from anything. Most days though, I’m just sad. I feel jealous when I’m around other families who are smooching on tiny cheeks or rubbing rounded bellies that are about to burst with fresh new life. Then I feel guilty for feeling that way and wish that I had more grace to bestow.
No one knows how I swallow tears when I buckle the other kids in our van, which seems too big now with that empty seat. No one thinks how every time I see the precious pictures of her on our wall that there won’t be any new ones to add. She was here, and there are pieces of her everywhere. Pieces that stir such emotion, it’s enough to break a soul. The first days after she died, I felt numb. Numb allowed me to keep going, to get through what needed to be done. Now I find myself wishing for that numbness instead of this shattering pain.
When my 3 children walk side by side I see a space… a hole where my littlest girl will never skip along beside them. When other people see us, they must not understand why we have anything to be sad about. They tell us how lucky we are to have the children we do…. They say how nice it must be to just have one child at home during the day… they say she was lucky to have lived as long as she did. I am not at a place where I can see the glass half full yet. Although I am happy to know Ellianna is whole and well and living in glory, I still miss her and yearn for her here… and I will, until I go Home.
It must be terribly awkward for people. People do not like to see pain. They want to know we are ok, that we are moving forward, and that we won’t break into tears in the middle of a conversation. That’s the thing about grief… it’s not something that goes away in a month, 6 months, a year… we are in it for the long haul. At Christmas when there is an empty stocking, we will be sad. 5 years from now when she is not starting Kindergarten, we will be sad. When there is no prom, no high school graduation, no wedding…we will still feel the pain and sadness of losing Ellianna. Many people are afraid of that; afraid to see us hurting… so they distance themselves, afraid to say or do the wrong thing. Well the wrong thing is to ignore it. We still need to know you’re here for us just as much as the day that she died. We need to know that you’re not too nervous to be around us, that you understand when we cancel because we have been hit by a new wave of grief, that you’re willing to talk about her, to say her name, to let us know that you have not forgotten.