A year has passed since that 20 week sonogram. You know, the appointment that was supposed to be fun. The big gender reveal. The one that would tell me whether or not I could finally pick out cute little floral onesies and bows after having two (amazing) boys. A year has passed since I was first told that my baby girl showed signs of a chromosomal abnormality, which was later confirmed as Trisomy 18. My baby, according to the medical world, was incompatible with life.
That was the start of my new life.
The life where I carried, birthed, cared for, and buried my baby girl, Julia Elizabeth, all within a year. The life that’s now portrayed in different colors. Sometimes it’s really dark. Sometimes it’s overwhelmingly bright. Grief does that. I’ve found that profound loss, like the death of a child, changes the way you see the world. It’s darker or brighter, and you just never know what shade it’s going to be when you wake up each day.
Eight months after Julia’s death, it’s expected that life will just continue as normal – and it does. Chores are completed. Kids are cared for and loved. Jobs are done. Vacations and play dates and social events are planned. Bodies are nourished and exercised, and mine is even getting close to being back to its pre-baby shape and weight.
But the dark days… the dark days hit on normal days.
They creep up and make chores and jobs and raising kids harder than they already are. They make vacations and socializing difficult. The dark days make me dislike my changing body, because although I’m feeling healthy, I hate that the outward signs of carrying my precious baby are fading. The dark days exhaust me. They drain me. They make me want to crawl in a hole and disappear until the light creeps back in.
Thankfully, it does. The light comes on normal days, too. It shines over my living children who are thriving and learning and growing despite my dark days. It glows over the mountainsides, through the trees, and glimmers on the water. It allows me to appreciate the flavors of a meal and the euphoric feeling of a good run like I never have before. It reminds me of how blessed I am to have such amazing friends and family. The light allows me to love deeper and harder, and even strengthens my marriage. It makes a normal day seem extraordinary, and that’s a gift. This gift that reminds me that my daughter and her beauty lives on forever. It also reaffirms that she will always be with me.
Thank God for the bright days.
Guest post by Kristin Flor