Today marks 6 months since we said goodbye to our precious daughter, Hannah Grace Frances. It was a sunny Sunday morning, just like now. I will never forget how I held her in my arms and watched her leave us for the splendour of heaven. How I watched her take the last breath she ever would on this earth. Or how a part of me left with her in that moment. I’m sure she was given a spectacular welcome into heaven, as she was greeted by the Lord Himself. I know He loves her even more that Jeremy and I do (however that is even possible) as He created her Himself. For us left behind however, the devastation as Hannah left us was unbearable. The pain of that day is etched in my memory forever.
Anyone who has ever lost a child will know that this grief journey is complicated. Most situations bring up such a mix of emotions. Most times when I feel joy it is also tinged with sadness. Every time we do something that makes me feel happy, I wish that Hannah was here sharing the moment with us. The times when I feel the most at peace are when I am doing something for her, or in memory of her. And isn’t that natural? I am her Mum, and I desire nothing more than to have her in my arms so I can be caring for her every need. I wish I was needed to ‘do’ things for her constantly. This is one thing that bothers me about the fact that it will be in heaven that I will see her next - yes I will be reunited with her there, but she won’t need me. I will be with her, but I won’t get to look after her and care for her needs. And as her Mum, I have this strong desire to do that. I guess once I get to heaven there won’t be any pain or regrets, so I won’t be bothered by this fact, but right now I am.
I’m sure people have their own opinions about how we should be feeling, thinking, processing, etc at this stage. Most are pretty good about not voicing them to us, although I often read it between the lines. I’m sure there are people who think I shouldn’t be posting as often about her on Facebook because that is dwelling on my pain, or simply because they do not want the harsh reminder that life is fragile. I’m sure some people would feel more comfortable if we just stopped talking about her. It sure kills conversation sometimes when we bring up her name. We are having to get used to that. But Hannah is our daughter. And if she was still here with us, people would expect us to talk about her all the time. And we are going to keep talking about her, because she is our precious first child. I wish it didn’t have to be so different, just because she isn’t in our arms.
How am I doing with this grieving process, 6 months on? To be honest, I'm so tired from it. And tired of it. I’m sick of living each day without Hannah - I'm meant to be a full time Mum, and it feels so empty not having my daughter here with me. I do feel so much joy when I think about her; because I am so thankful for her short life. But I miss her so much. I still cry most days, and she is still constantly on my mind. In many ways it gets harder with time - it has been longer and longer since I held her close. I guess in other ways it gets a little easier - or maybe it just a easier to push my emotions down and hide them. These last few weeks I have felt like we were building up to Feb 29th, which would have been her 6 month birthday; and this has been really hard for me. I miss her desperately, and each significant date is especially painful.
And yet through all of this, somehow I do have hope. Somehow I am facing each day. But it’s not in my own strength; that’s for sure. I think it is in the depths of our despair that God’s strength is the most evident. I do still feel His love, even though I have so many questions for Him.
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “the Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” Lamentations 3:19-24
This time last year we were announcing our pregnancy to people – and everyone was sharing with us in the joy that we had a baby on the way. A year later, it is the anniversary of 6 months since our baby died. I guess we never know what life will bring, hence why our relationship with God is so important. God is the only thing in life that will never change and therefore that we can count on. Everything else is unpredictable. Sometimes I feel so tired of dealing with the pain of this world – and my heart longs for heaven, where I will spend eternity with my Lord and will be with my precious daughter again. This song echoes those thoughts and describes how I feel… Mercy Me - Homesick. Click on this link and have a listen.
The verse below is one that our pastor shared in church a few weeks ago. Having hope doesn’t mean the pain is any less real. But it means that because of the Lord, we can go on. We don’t know what the future will hold, but we trust Him with it.
Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”
Mummy and Daddy love you and miss you, precious girl xxx