My Aila would have turned 6 months tomorrow, on Christmas Eve. I'm not usually one to dwell on dates, but this one definitely stings. It's my favorite time of the year, and this is the first time I have ever had my joy for the season tempered with such sadness. This is undoubtably a hard time to be without someone you love and my heart and prayers are with any of you who may be experiencing the same heartbreak.
I had so many expectations about what this Christmas would be this year. That we would hang 4 stockings on the mantle or that she would be sitting up or rolling over by now. Or that she may get to see her first snow in Tahoe. Asher is also starting to process his loss in a different way than he did when we first lost her. He's realizing that he doesn't have a sister like he was supposed to and frequently asks us why his friends get to have siblings to play with when he doesn't. That breaks my heart more than anything.
This season is filled with so many amazing traditions and memories though, so my sadness is resisted with great joy. It is pretty incredible to look back and see all of the healing that we have experienced in just half a year. I surprise myself daily with how far I have come, when I thought I may be in a ball on the floor for months and months to come. It feels like forever, yet it feels like she was just here yesterday. Hope is ever present, and I know now that we are going to survive.
I'm finding peace and happiness in what surrounds me – Asher's contagious smile and excitement about Christmas morning, Ryan's steadfast strength and support, giving gifts to loved ones, the abundant love from my Father. And of course the food! My grief still creeps in, mostly at night, but these days it's overshadowed by the thankfulness for the many blessings that we have in our life. Thinking about her and looking at her picture brings me more comfort and pride than anything lately. I may actually find the strength tomorrow to revisit her grave for the first time after her burial to celebrate her sweet life and everything that she means to us.
My prayer for anyone that is mourning the loss of a child is that you can find the delicate balance of grief and joy over these next couple of days. It's like walking on a tight-rope, but it is doable and it is not worth letting the grief overcome you and steal the good moments that make life worth living.
My love to all of you and thank you for being a part of our journey and our online community! We are so thankful for you and all of the support you show us as a family, as well as the impact that you make personally on my blog, or my social media sites by offering your support to others traveling similar journeys.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!
All my love,