We all have days that hurt more than others. Our calendars are scattered with dates and events and anniversaries that bring to mind the one we’ve lost. The sharp edges and jagged crust of pain digs against our bruised and tender hearts, and we feel the bitter taste of loss more acutely. It’s not that we don’t carry the weight of this loss with us all the time; it’s just that this day, this week, or this month, that weight feels a bit heavier to lift.
For some of us, these dates are marked by anniversaries of loss, due dates, or birthdays. These are the special moments in time that say, “You were here and you are still so very loved.”
For each of my five pregnancy losses, I have one date , in particular,that seems to burn more brightly against the continued cycle of my grief – and it’s different for all of them. The dates for some are marked by the days they arrived and said good-bye, another by his funeral date, another by his due date. It’s solely by coincidence that the month of July is weighted down by the majority of these dates.
This is my month that hurts the most. The month that lifts the edges of scabs and scars to momentarily let the sharp sting of grief back in.
The month my twins were born in. One leaving, one staying.
The month of my first miscarriage. And my fourth.
The original due date for my third miscarriage.
The anniversaries and dates pile up fast and furious across the month, one after another. It hurts more than the other months but there’s also something very beautiful and special about it.
These dates give us time to stop and pause, to remember and to love just a little bit harder. They are opportunities to embrace the depth of our grief as a way to cherish and celebrate the life we were blessed to know.
Related: Two Years Without You
It may not be what we typically envision our love to look like, but the truth is, these anniversary dates carry so much more than just the tears you see. As much as they hurt, I could never trade these special grief-laden days in for “normal” pain-free ones. It hurts because I knew them and I love them. And given the choice, I would choose to live with the pain of loss rather than miss out on the opportunity to have known them at all. The empty ache of grief has been slowly transformed in light of the love they have brought me. These days haven’t been “ruined” by loss, but rather, made into something new.
And so, I enter into this month long string of anniversaries with the knowledge that although the days may be tear-stained, they are first and foremost reminders of extraordinary love.
Photo credit: Velizar Ivanov / Unsplash