Almost three and a half years ago I was thrown into the world of the grieving parent. At the time, I was in a highly alert state, taking words that were said to me and dissecting them one by one. Sometimes people said things that I found confusing, and maybe even hurtful. I started reading…
That’s how long it’s been since I’ve held you or saw your sweet face. It seems like yesterday that our lives revolved around a hospital room watching you fight for your life yet at the same time it feels like a lifetime ago. I can remember vividly the night that you passed away. We had finally fallen asleep in your room and you were being held by one of our nurses while we got some sleep. She came in the room with watery eyes, holding you close, and I knew right then that you had gained your wings. I wanted out. I wanted out of that hospital as quickly as I could. I couldn’t bring myself to be in there anymore. Not without you being there with me.
The drive home was a blur.
I don’t think me and your dad said anything to each other. What was there to say? We had just lost the missing piece to our family. We got home and I grabbed your sister. I needed her with me and we slept. She slept curled up next to me as if she knew I needed that. It was the first time we had slept home in seven weeks.
Three years later and it still hurts like it did that night. The emptiness and sadness comes and goes though, it’s not constant like it once was. I can go days without crying now but then there’s days like today when I can literally feel my heart breaking and the tears can’t stop streaming down my face. I’m not supposed to be sitting here figuring out what we are going to do this year on your wing-a-versary yet here I am. Thinking. Nothing seems right. Nothing seems like it would do justice to you being in heaven for three years already.
But in reality will it ever? Will anything ever match up to the fact that you are in heaven and not here with us? No, it won’t.
Three years changes a person. I’m not the person I was back then and I don’t think she’ll ever resurface. How can she? How can the person who had a perfectly normal pregnancy and adored being pregnant come back? She can’t, because she now knows too much. She knows that happily ever after doesn’t happen for everyone. She knows the struggle of explaining to her now almost five year old “why we can’t go visit you”. Or why she doesn’t get to have a sister who isn’t in heaven. It’s moments like that, that stop me in my tracks and breaks my heart a little more. Or every month when aunt flow arrives and I’m reminded yet again that it’s not going to happen this month for me. That we won’t be giving Emma the sibling she’s been asking for, for almost two years now.
But this new person, now she’s a fighter, that’s what you taught her. You taught her to have a different outlook on life.
Not let the little things get to her because she knows how precious life can be. How easily things can change. How you can go to sleep one night with a healthy baby and wake up the next morning to your world beginning to change in ways you never thought possible. She knows that whenever a butterfly comes by that it’s you letting her know you’re close by. It’s the days I feel really happy, I know it’s you sending me extra love that day to just keep me going. It’s doing little things in your name to keep your memory alive.
So here’s to you Andi Michelle Perry; three years later and you continue to change my life day in and day out. You will always be my greatest blessing.
June 18th 2014 – September 7th 2014
Guest story by Lauren Horner