Pieces of Her

August 2, 2016

Last week we were stopped in the grocery store (again) so a complete stranger could admire her. Our rainbow, Brielle.

It happens quite frequently actually and I used to think it was just because she was a baby, and she was chubby, and she was cute. But I’m beginning to think there might be more to the story.

The comments for these admirers are usually one or more of the following:

How her eyes shine with an intensity strong and inquisitive and wise beyond her years.

How her hair shimmers and gleams, gorgeously blonde. Nothing like mine or her dad’s dark brown locks.

How her smile lights up a room.

How tall, big, and mature she is for her age.

That’s the one that gets me.

Ask anyone how old our rainbow is and they’ll likely say she’s 3.

But Brielle is just shy of 2.

The one who should be 3 is our angel, our Bella.

We went to a birthday party a few months ago. At the party we ran into a friend, a girl I went to high school with. She was one of those people who I’ve kept up with only through the wonderful world of Facebook. We were pregnant at the same time with due dates only days apart. Me with our angel Bella and her with her first daughter.

Her daughter lived. Mine died.

For a long time I had to hide her status’, pictures, and profile from my Facebook feed. I couldn’t bear to see her happy updates and photos of her growing baby. It was too much.

But now, at this birthday party almost 3 years later I was finally going to have to face her and her daughter in person. I almost had to do a double take at the party though. Because Brielle, our rainbow who was only 9 months older, was almost twice this 3 year old girl’s size. Brielle, not even 2, could easily pass for a 3 year old. She was the size that her sister should’ve been. Could’ve been.

So now today, I sit in a very strange place. September 19th is right smack dab in the middle of Bella’s angelversary (September 11th) and Brielle’s 2nd birthday (September 26th).

This is the place where grief, and mourning, and wonder intermingles with joy, and love, and celebration, and gratitude.

Sometimes I wonder if the universe gave us something extra special in Brielle to ease the hurt. A true rainbow after the storm.

Most times though, as we are approached by strangers and realizing our baby is about a year older in size, I wonder if a piece of Bella was passed on to her sister in some mysterious way we’ll never quite understand.

The piece that causes Brielle’s eyes to have that extra sparkle, her blonde hair to grow extra quick, and causes her to grow into her body 99% faster than all the other kids her age.

It’s comforting to believe that our living daughter is carrying pieces of our angel with her.

It makes Bella feel just a bit closer.

It makes this month of death and new life just a little easier to make sense of and brings peace and calm to this never ending journey of grief.

If you’re blessed with a rainbow, do you find yourself thinking about your angel(s) when you gaze into their eyes? Do you find any of these mysterious clues that your angel might be with your rainbow child in some strange way? I’d love to compare stories and hear if you’ve ever experienced anything similar.




  • I believe in feeding the spirit with lifelong learning, photographic healing, and a glass half full perspective. I'm a coffee addict and an iPhone junkie who thrives on sunshine and light. I look to the sky to feel closer to my first born angel and feel her warmth. You can find me on facebook, twitter, and my blog where I'll nourish your mind, body, & soul with photography tips and inspiration.

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