The ladies pictured, wow, I could never adequately explain how important they are in my life. These two are more than just my friends and perhaps that’s why they often don’t get the recognition they deserve from me. I consider them more my sisters. We have been bonded for more than thirty years. Without them, my life would be less filled with love. I know I can call either one of them anytime of day or night and they would patiently listen or gently calm me. They get angry for me when needed. They let me cry and scream. They let me sit quietly when I’m out of words and broken down. They always love me through whatever I’m living without judgement or question. I have many friends that deserve recognition but these two women deserve more than recognition, they deserve more than I could ever truly give them in return. Our hearts and lives are forever intertwined.
Day 3- What it Felt LikeThis post was so hard to write. I have thought about it and struggled with it all day and finally came to the conclusion that no matter what I say, no one can know what it feels like. Even other bereaved parents can’t totally understand one another’s emotions because each of us has our own unique grief experience. The best way I can describe it is that it felt dark and scary and like everything was closing in on me. It felt like there was only the tiniest point of light visible and I thought surely I would never feel moments of joy again. Child loss is insanely hard to explain and I fear if I was ever too honest with the non-bereaved, it would scare people. This journey isn’t fun and it certainly isn’t pretty. The ugly cry moments come when you are alone with it.
Day 2- Who They AreMallory Grace Milton was born on Friday, November 21, 2008. We only got to have her for (almost) five years. She brought great joy to us in her little lifetime. She was a loving friend, a dancer, a singer, a fashionista, a joke maker. She had a big vocabulary from a young age and had lots to say all the time. She was definitely filled with a personality all her own. Uniquely her. This picture is a great snap of her uniqueness. She was hilarious and strong willed in the best way. One of my oldest and dearest friends, Cara Connolly, told me she thinks God gave her a big personality because he knew we would only hold her for a little while and that way we got more of who she truly was in that short time together. I can only hope and believe that she is singing and dancing in heaven. She is probably entertaining the angels now.
Day 1 -Sunrise Dedication As I begin this month of capture your grief, I decided to pick a word that reflects what I have learned from Mallory’s life and our loss. That word is grace. It is fitting that it was her middle name as she taught me so much more than I ever knew about what it means to give and live in grace. She loved so unconditionally. She never allowed where someone was (sad,mad, happy or otherwise) to keep her from sharing that love. And in her death, I’ve lived some seriously tough days. My ability to extend grace has grown exponentially because I know all too well that often we just don’t have a clue what someone is going through that we do not see. Some people’s actions and choices are a mystery to us and I really strive to let my heart make room for the good, the bad, the tremendous and the disappointing things people do and say. Because I feel strongly there is room for all of us in this world. Therefore, I try to make room for all of us in my heart.