That phrase, encounter, action, or situation that sets into motion tears of sadness. They vary for everyone and sometimes I wish I knew what mine were ahead of time before the tears start. Typically it’s my thoughts and situations that get the tears flowing.
About a month ago, Camden and I attended a family member’s wedding. I was anxious about the trip, mainly because I would be around my niece who is 10 weeks older than Penelope. A grief hurdle, as my counselor put it, that I needed to overcome. I have only had two encounters with my niece since Penelope was born. The first was 5 days after Penelope’s funeral, I could barely be in the same room before I had to leave the house in tears. The next time would be almost 2 months later. Same house, same tears, but with a slow, healing heart. The trip wasn’t easy. I cried every day. I cried thinking that Penelope should be here. There should be two babies here, not one. She should be meeting these family members too. Those ‘should be’ statements that sneak in your mind are brutal. Lies that tear you down, making it hard, if not impossible to be in the same room again. Doing your best to keep the tears in, to be “brave”. However, not every moment was like this. I played with her, I sang to her, I smiled with her and looked into her big, brown eyes. She's beautiful.
Another trigger are specific dates. A few passed while we were on our trip these past weeks that started tears. July 2, an ordinary day for most, but it ended in sobs for me. The day itself was great, it was beautiful and we had a wonderful time with friends. I didn’t realize until the next day, July 2, 2016 I found out I was pregnant. An anniversary date. Next was July 4, another holiday passed and she wasn’t there. Last one was July 10, her 4 month anniversary. That day was brutal. We were traveling back to the states and awake for approximately 24 hours, it felt like the day that wouldn’t end. I had also received (with permission) pictures of Penelope’s headstone that was put in while we were gone. So many tears that day.
In these past four and a half months, I am in a place I never thought I would reach. Everyday gets better, even though the sadness is present. There will always be the good days and the bad days, just like life. Penelope will always be present in our life. Some people might think I need to ‘move on’ or ‘let go’, and to them I’d like to say, which child could you live without? She is loved, like any child would be, and I will continue to speak her name. She is our daughter, and she will continue to live through us.
I’m not bitter about our circumstance, although I do have my days of “why me”, I can only keep living with a loving heart for her. I can’t let my situation take away from other people’s joy. I won’t let bitterness and pain stop me from living a life God intended for me to live. To live without fear, to love fiercely, and to soak in the joy of every moment.