Wishing I could visit her today.

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Nothing about this is fair. Of course, if I had it my way, Aria would be in my arms right now. But I will admit, there are a lot of times when reality sets in and makes things feel even more unfair.

I’ve mentioned before that Aria was not buried where we currently live. Due to my husband’s job, we move often and have no idea where we will end up. So we chose to bury her in a cemetery a thousand miles away, in our hometown, so she would be close to her grandparents. It’s also a place we know we’ll visit many times throughout the years, so it seemed like the best option for our family.

It isn’t easy being so far away from our daughter’s final resting place. On the hard days, I feel a voice urging me to go to her, but it’s impossible for me to just drive over real quick. That often feels like salt is being poured in my wounds. Instead, I usually sit in her nursery as it does help me feel closer to her, but it just isn’t the same. Now, I am also dealing with the reality that we will be moving soon. Her room will have to be taken apart and packed into boxes, never to be seen again. I’m not really sure what I’ll do then.

As much as I know I still carry Aria in my heart, I crave being next to that beautiful, perfect physical body of hers. I want to touch the ground above her, and know I’m as close as possible to those soft cheeks as I can possibly be on this earth. I want to lay next to her, and tell her all about the life we’re living.

As I think about all the days that have passed since the last time I was able to visit her grave, I just pray she understands why her Mom hasn’t stopped by in a while. I hate the thought of her grave being lonely. I would be there every single day if I could. Now, it is looking more and more like we won’t be able to visit on her first birthday, and that breaks my heart. There is so much guilt that comes with all of this. I think all parents can probably relate to that, I just want to do everything for my little girl.

As a Christian, I know she isn’t truly there, as her spirit is constantly watching over us from heaven. I know she is with me wherever I go, and we have received proof of that in beautiful ways. But those tiny feet and hands made a big imprint on my heart, and I just wasn’t ready to let go of them yet.

I’ll stop by again soon my love, just not soon enough.
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Overcoming our differences in grief

Our differences are what make us unique and special. Our differences are important, and make life interesting. They make life more meaningful.

But sometimes, our differences can really divide us. They can cause arguments, and even full blown wars.

Lately, I’ve been wishing the rest of the world was a little more like me. I’m very open about my journey with grief. I tell people when I am hurting in a very public way, both on my blog and social media accounts. I share these things for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it keeps Aria’s memory alive. But not everyone is this vocal, and sometimes it can be really hard on me.

When I’m really upset, or missing Aria so much that I’m drowning in my emotions, I almost always text, call, or speak with someone. I do this so that I always have a support person to help pull me out of the darkness, or prevent me from falling in too deep. This is a really important process for me.

But not everyone is like this. Many people tend to grieve silently, so they don’t often send us a text that says “I thought of Aria today” or “I cried today.” I think people assume that telling us about their overwhelming moments, and the tears they shed will break us down even more. But truthfully, it would help us a lot.

First, it reminds us that we aren’t the only people who think of our daughter on a daily basis. We can’t read minds, so we don’t know unless someone tells us. And when they do, it makes my heart sing. I love knowing the ways our sweet little girl has impacted other people’s lives. I love knowing that her presence on this earth continues for more than just Brian and I.

Second, if someone were to tell us they missed her so much that they shed a few tears, we would feel less alone in our grief. Of course, we don’t want everyone around us to be sad, but it is really nice to know we aren’t the only ones grieving this loss. Which again, we just don’t know unless we are reminded.

Over the last six and a half months, people have often said “let us know if you need anything!” And it’s so frustrating because I almost never know how to respond. I will likely never say “I’m having a hard day, can you come do my laundry?” But I have a response now. All we really need is to know that people still have a relationship with our sweet little girl.

Life after loss: Anxiety

I’ve always been a bit of an anxious person. But after everything we went through with Aria, I’ve gone from being your average worry wart to full blown anxiety.

As a matter of fact, it is anxiety
that has me up at two o’clock in the morning, writing this post as an attempt to release a little energy, and calm my nerves.

With all of the tragedies happening in our nation as of late, I’m starting to feel pretty on edge. I wonder if anything is really safe anymore. It’s enough to make me never want to set foot outside of my house.

The rational part of me knows I can’t let fear stop me from living my life – but it’s so much easier said than done. I’m afraid that I’ll get too comfortable, and be blindsided by something horrible.

It already happened once.

When we passed the twelve week threshold in my pregnancy with Aria, I was certain we would be bringing home a perfect little baby. Finding out our baby had a serious malformation at twenty weeks was a complete shock. Losing her six weeks later was completely beyond our realm of comprehension. Every ounce of naïveté was stripped out of my life. My innocence was destroyed.

Now I’m afraid tragedy is now lurking at every corner. I am constantly bracing myself for it.
I’m so afraid of the unknown. I tend to operate under the assumption that if tragedy happened once, it can happen again.

Im trying so hard to fight this beast, but like everything else in this journey, it’s an uphill battle. All I can do is take each moment as it comes, and work through it.

Dear Lord, please comfort my worrisome heart.

Happy Half Birthday, Aria.

Six months.

Six months since I last felt you move inside of my womb.

Six months since I rested my cheek against yours.

Six months since we held you in our arms.

Six months since we kissed your tiny lips.

Six months since we caressed your head full of hair.

Six months since we said goodbye.

Six months of heartache and tears.

Six months of fighting to make sure no one forgets.

Six months of building your legacy.

Six months of navigating life as parents without living children.

Six months.

In many ways it has flown by, and at times it has dragged on at a snails pace.

Half a year. 26 weeks. 182 days. 4,380 hours. 262,800 minutes.

Six months of loving you more each day.

Six months of finding pieces of you in everything we do.

Six months of celebrating your brief yet beautiful life.

Six months of learning to find joy again.

Six months of finding kindness in places, and in people we never expected.

Six months of cherishing life more than ever before.

Six months gone, six months closer to seeing you in heaven.

Happy half birthday, Aria. We love you, sweet baby girl.