If you look closely, you’ll see her.
I see her everywhere, all the time, 24/7. She’s in “Everglow” by Coldplay and “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman. She is in her little brother’s eyes and forehead. When he randomly stares and smiles out the window, I imagine her saying hello to him.
She’s in the purple stretch marks on my thighs, the marks that only she made.
Christmas lights; her birthday is December 26th. Elephants; her bedding has lavender elephants on it. January 1st; the only day she opened her eyes as I was talking to her, amidst the beeps of the NICU machines. When I see updates from my friends who have children that are her age, she is the first person I think about.
You see, I catch glimpses of her every day. For the past year, we have learned that life will never be like “before.” You know, that thing that happens when you live through a traumatic experience; you define the stories of your life by the “befores” and the “afters.” “Oh, that happened before I was pregnant with Abby.” “We went there after Abby’s funeral.”
Our lives were forever changed when our first-born child passed on January 28th, 2018. Our naiveté was stolen, the expectations of a happy and easy pregnancy with a healthy newborn at the end vanished. When she first passed, it felt finite, finished, a conclusion. As we have walked these first 365 days, with a lifetime to go, we are learning that our Abigail will always be with us.
Yes, some days it is difficult to find her, when anger, bitterness, and rage overtake me. If I search long enough though, she’s there, staring me in the face, waiting patiently for me to find her. But you, on the outside looking in, might not see her so clearly.
However, if you look closely, I promise that you’ll notice her.
You’ll see her in a gold necklace around my neck that holds some of her ashes. And if by a slim chance, I didn’t wear it that day, you’ll see her in a bracelet on my wrist with her birthstone as a charm. If you don’t see her there, look to my husband’s wrist that has a beaded bracelet with her initials engraved.
Look to our son, her little brother, who will have and already has a connection to his big sister. You’ll hear us talk about her, what she would be like and how old she would be. How people would think we are crazy for having two kids that are just less than twelve months apart.
You’ll hear each of our parents count her in the grandchildren count. Talk to us about life and hear how our worldview has shifted since having her in our lives; we will inevitably mention her name. In our sense for adventure because we are all too aware of the fragility of life.
Our daughter is even in our laughs, that have changed ever so slightly since her passing. She’s in our friendships, our families, our passions. She is in our fears, our faith, our hopes, and dreams.
From the outside, we look like a little family of three, seeking a new adventure. Look a little closer, and you’ll soon realize we are a family of four, redefining our purpose to make her 33 days of life on this Earth matter for eternity.
And if you still do not see her, look in our eyes.
She is there. If you look closely, you’ll see her.
Photo by Sarah Mak on Unsplash
About the Author: Lindsey is a mother of two, one in Heaven and one here. She and her husband are seeking new adventures with new purpose while they walk the journey of grief. They seek to make the most of life, in honor of their daughter, joyful that she sent a little brother to them.