More Than a Picture
“In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die: Ever drifting down the stream- Lingering in the golden gleam- Life, what is it but a dream?” (Lewis Carroll, THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS)
You are more than just a picture. You are more than just a dream. You are a more than just a reflection of what I lost six months ago today. I want to be in denial. I don’t want to accept this blow. I want to wake up and for it to all look differently. I find myself watching life. Not fully entering into it. Because it doesn’t make sense without you here. You are supposed to be here.
I fear that if I didn’t have the few pictures of you that I have, I might forget what you look like. My vision and memories blurred by all the pain and confusion. But I look at your picture, and I know that’s not all of it. Not even a small part of it. Only a tiny piece of the bigger picture. For you are more than just a picture. And over the recent months, I haven’t been able to bring myself to look at the ones when I was holding you, wishing you alive. Crying tears over you, because I couldn’t believe I had to face this. That I had to leave you. No. You are more than just a picture. You are part of me.
And I awoke on this cold morning. Six months later. My body woke me up at 3. The time I worried why I didn’t feel you. Then again at 5. When I arose on that May morning, bewildered. And again at 9, the time I found out your heart was no longer beating. My body is trying to relive the day. Panic. Anxiety. Confusion. Difficulty breathing. But my mind doesn't want to go there. I don’t want to be sad. I don’t want to accept six months. I want YOU. I want you HERE. You are more than just a dream. You existed. I carried you. Loved you. Lost you. Gave you back. And now I can’t touch you. I can’t reach you. I can’t feel you. Can’t hold you. I long for you. I long for the dream I waited for...to be your mother. Here. With me. Not with you away. Not with me alone. For you are more than just a dream. You are part of my body. My being. The very core of me. Flesh of my flesh. My love, my child.
I finally cleaned the house yesterday. I did so with determination and energy. But when I cleaned my dresser, I placed all of your cards and letters in a large baby gift bag. All of the bereavement resources we received from the hospital and thoughtful friends. Items that proved your existence put in a bag with a tag that said, “Made with love and prayers for Baby...”. It initially held a beautifully hand crocheted mint green and cream blanket that was meant to cradle your body. Gender neutral for the surprise at your birth. When I read the tag, my heart broke. All our love and all our prayers couldn’t keep you here. And the thoughts of many that reached out to us in those early, dark days are now placed in a bag next to my bed. But you are more than just a reflection of what I lost six months ago. For you are proof that there is love. And compassion. And empathy. And intentionality. And miracles. For you are reflection of the Father’s love for us. And for me. Even when it hurts.
Help me to wake up, baby girl. Help me to LIVE and to choose love. Help me to THRIVE. I’m growing weary of surviving. Help my broken heart to keep beating. Help me to find joy. To find hope. To find purpose. To find you. I don’t want to live as a spectator. I’m tired of watching. Help me to be in THIS, but to live fully while doing so.
I love you. My daughter, my heart, my much missed child. I miss you with every breath. I cannot believe it’s been six months. Find me in this day, and all the days that lie ahead. I love you with every piece of me. Forever and ever.