Last month marked five years since the birth and death of our first child. Five years since we held our tiny baby boy. Five years since we said goodbye. In those five years, we have grieved, we have changed, and we have learned so much. Many of the lessons we have learned have come from our sweet rainbow daughter who has taught us nearly as much as we have taught her.
Joy and sadness can live hand in hand.
One of Madeline’s favorite movies is Inside Out. As you often do with young preschoolers, we have watched this movie over and over again. Each time I have sat down to watch this movie with her the message of just how important sadness is has resonated deeper.
One of the lessons from Inside Out is just how important the role of Sadness is in our lives. Sadness and Joy have to learn to work together. I have watched the delicate dance that joy and sadness does in my own life since having our rainbow. The sadness of the missing Joshua makes the joy of watching Madeline grow that much sweeter. I have learned that is possible to be both intensely sad and insanely happy all at the very same moment.
It is okay to dance in the rain.
There was a Sunday morning several months ago where we were waiting outside for our table at one of our favorite little breakfast places. While my husband and I waited under the cover awning, we watched as our daughter choose to step out from that protective shade and quite literally dance in the rain. It was a rainy spring morning. The rain just gently falling. I smiled as I watched Madeline throw her hands up in the air and laugh as she danced around, feeling the cool rain fall on her face.
As I watched her dancing, I was reminded of a quote by Vivian Greene.
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.
For anyone who has a lost a child knows, that storm of grief never really ends. The rain will continue to fall, the thunder will always shake you to your core. As I watched my carefree rainbow daughter I thought of how she has taught us to dance in the rain. She has given us a reason to smile through the tears, to dance through the pain, and has given us the strength to dance through the storm.
Grief never truly stops.
There is no timeline for grief. Sure there are psychologists who will tell you that there are certain stages of grief. What they don’t tell you is that sometimes all of those stages will happen within the same day and that you never really stop experiencing them.
It has been five years since we lost our son Joshua. Five years and there are days that the grief feels just as raw and fresh as it did that cold February morning in 2013. Most days, I am happy and can live in the moment with my husband and our sweet rainbow. Then I will hear a song, see a little boy that looks to be Joshua’s age, or just feel the wind blow a certain way and I am right back there in that moment. I know the grief will never end just as my love for him will never stop.