I went and visited a website of someone I knew in our grief group back in Chicago today. The reason I visited it was because on the old blogger site I had started this one on (which is technically still up and running, don’t ask me why, it does redirect people to here however 🙂 ) I have this woman’s website listed under Blogs of Importance. Under the listing, it shows a title of the most recent blog post. This one was labeled, “Letting go.” I thought that meant she was letting go of her website. It has been about ten months since her last blog post so I wanted to go check it out.
Well, it wasn’t what I expected. She was talking about letting go of her beloved little girl almost seven years ago at the time. She went and visited her daughter’s website that day and the tears just came strolling down her face. I know exactly how she feels. It had been almost seven years since she lost her precious little Olivia and yet the pain is just as deep and she misses her little one so very much.
She is so right, the pain will always be there. Yes, it is no longer the acute pain I once felt, especially compared the night she died and those first few dreadful weeks and then months, but it still remains. I still cry and sometimes I will cry out of the blue for what seems like no reason other than I just plain flat miss that little smiling angel that use to run around flapping her hands for takeoff.
Yet, here I sit today knowing she is in a better place. I am thankful that God loves everyone so much and understands that not everyone will be able to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. She is sitting in heaven right now dancing around the same way she did down here but now she doesn’t have autism. She is in her perfect form and experiencing what so many of us will experience when we too go to be with the Lord at our own designated time.
I’ve talked about this before but here is what I wrote to her in a comment: “I hate saying the word anniversary because, for me, that word reminds me of happy things. And you well understand, the loss of a child is anything but. I always call it “the mark.” Mari’s four-year mark will be on July 16. It’s hard to believe it’s already been that long when it feels like just yesterday.”
Visiting my friend’s website brought home so many of the same feelings I have. Going to visit my daughter’s grave site is something I do every six months, once on her birthday and once on “the mark.” This year will, unfortunately, or at least it is looking that way, be different. Due to the pain I am now suffering, I probably will not be able to make the five to six-hour drive to Chicago so I can go visit her grave on July 16. This is heart breaking for me. I used to go and visit every month while in Chicago. Now because we live in Kentucky, I can only do it twice a year.
Yet this year will be different. I will be here, several hours away unable to visit her grave. I know she is technically no longer in that body but her earthly body still lies in that ground. It is as close as I am ever going to get to her while still on this earth.
Every time we leave her gravesite, I give her headstone a kiss. This may seem weird to some but I do it every single time without fail. I no longer get to give my little girl kisses. I miss that. I still remember holding her that last night and kissing her on the forehead telling her that it is okay to go. Mommy and Daddy will miss her but we will be okay. And we are but boy has she left an aching hole in hearts that will never be filled here on this earth.
The loss of a child truly changes you. For some, it becomes unbearable to the point they actually take their lives. They are so heartbroken the despair gripes their heart to the point they feel they can no longer take the pain, and thus, take their own life.
I can understand their loneliness and despair but I knew I had to continue living as I would not honor my daughter in any way by taking my life before God intended me to leave for heaven. He has a plan for my life. Taking my life would be selfish on my part as I would only be relieving the pain that eventually did become less. It was for only a time that the pain was at its worst, that it felt so acute.
However, for me, the changes it has made have been something I never expected. I have found a joy out of this tragedy. Think about that for a second. Finding joy in the loss of a child, I mean, I even have a hard time wrapping my brain around this. But yet, it has happened. I am able to do what I am doing right now. I am able to write. I can share with all of you my thoughts and feelings. I am able to touch people’s lives. That amazes me, sometimes, in how God has worked His magic (miracle) to give me this awesome gift. I am ever thankful for this.
I could not have imaged getting through the loss of Mari without writing. It became an outlet for me to put all my grief and pain into. It helped me in ways I never could have imagined. And at the same time, I then touched other people lives by a few words on a screen or page. I mean, how awesome is that to know you can make a difference in just one person’s life by what you have written.
I may cry while I write as I touch that ever vulnerable nerve but that is a good release for me. It is healthy.
Thank you Mari for being the little angel you were on this earth. You are so very missed. The void you left behind in so many people’s lives will never be truly filled but you have touched those same people’s lives and have forever changed them in a positive way. Thank you for being who you were, my precious little gift from God.
I love you baby girl and Mommy misses you so much.