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after loss: why my daughter’s birthday is the hardest day February 26, 2016

Posted by guinever in christianity, death, grief, moving on.
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I’ve been mulling this post over since summer, waiting to write it on the occasion of my daughter Abby’s 13th birthday.

This post is my answer to the question that has been voiced more than once:

It’s been 10 years; when are you going to get over it?

The 10 years is in reference to the 10th anniversary of my daughter’s death which occurred last March.

To put it simply, I will never get over it. I will never forget my daughter. Not her birth. Not her death. Not her life. Her birthday is the hardest for me, even harder than her death day, her heaven day, the day that she stopped dancing with me and started dancing with the angels. For those of you new to my story, she died suddenly. No warning. An accident.

Abby grew in me. Thrived in me. Moved in me: just like her siblings Alex, Caleb, Mary, and Jackson lived in me.

On the eve of all my children’s birthdays each year, I remember these things and I bake a cake. Judging from facebook and talk at baby showers, I am not the only woman who does this. It seems that every woman whether the baby is still in her arms or in high school or her baby is a 50 year old neurosurgeon, the mother remembers how hard the labor was, or how short, or how horrendous, or how he came out butt first, or how the labor went on for 48 hours or how it was so fast,they barely made it to the hospital or the midwife almost didn’t make it in time to the house. Oh happiest of days is the day that a new baby is born into a family! Every single year, we women, remember those moments of labor and birth on our children’s birthdays.

Abby dying doesn’t erase the memories of her pregnancy, labor and birth, and 2 short years.

Just because Abby is dead, doesn’t mean that my mind stops going to my last hours of pregnancy, when I labored to bring her into the world so I could finally hold her in my arms.

I do this with all my kids. But with my other children, there is joyous celebration, and an anticipation that comes with a present or two, and a special birthday lunch followed by a birthday box or envelope from Grandma and Grandpa VC. Alex, Caleb, Mary and Jackson are right there in front of me and can smile at their cake and blow out their candles as I take photos. I can think about how small they once were, and revel in how much they’ve grown. My 8 pound babies are now tall, one is over 6 feet tall.

But with Abb12742685_10153930579642801_6103281711424171089_ny? She is not in front of me laughing at her cake and presents. There is nothing. Only 2 years of memories. Only flowers to take to a cemetery. And sometimes it just gets to me. The absence of her overwhelms me and I weep. I cry hard. I need a hug and a little understanding.  Is that bad? Is that wrong? To borrow a friend’s line, I just want to be extended the “grace to grieve.”

Remember my first sentence? My daughter Abby’s 13 birthday? Oh. My. Word. 13 years old she would be.  13 years old she is in heaven at the feet of Jesus.

Happy birthday baby girl. I know that I’ll see you again someday.

These are the flowers your sister picked out for you 🙂

 

 

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Comments»

1. April Ann - February 26, 2016

Surely you will grieve until heaven. May all who know you surround you with that grace. Love you, friend!

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2. Carol Mart - February 26, 2016

OH!,my, what to say,first of all,REJOICE!,your daughter is not dead! & she is not 13,she is a young woman & lives in her glorified spirit & soul,in the presence of our LORD & SAVIOR,JESUS CHRIST!,what better place to be?she does not yearn for earth & her earthly family,& if you are saved by the shed blood of JESUS,YOU will see her again! SO REJOICE!,,,,,it’s silly to mourn!,when your family here on earth,get together & have a real joyful party of her birth,because if she hadn;t been born,she would have never seen JESUS! & remember,ALL children,who die before the age of reason,go directly to heaven,a real planet,like earth,but more vibrant & intense! & ABBY is going to live forever,with JESUS!,SO AGAIN,I say REJOICE!& if you must cry,let them be tears of JOY, you will see ABBY,AGAIN! because the bible says so!,,,,,,,,,now relax & enjoy your life here on earth,be thankful to GOD,that HE gave you & your husband,the blessing of ABBY! 🙂 <3,,,,,,,sincerely,with love,carol mart (kath'y staudenbaur's, mother)

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ballet you say - February 26, 2016

Thanks for your comment. It is not silly to mourn as you suggested.

I grieve in hope. I know exactly where Abby is, and that I will see her again.

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smileygirltoo - February 26, 2016

You are totally right – it is not silly to mourn. It is not silly for you to do anything. What you feel is simply that – what you feel. You have every right to mourn the loss of your daughter. She was a life that lived, a life you gave birth to and you loved. She is in heaven but her earthly presence is missing and that hurts. Take all the time you need and be good to yourself along the way. Happy Birthday to Abby! Hugs!

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3. Carol Mart - February 26, 2016

I just wrote a long comment,where did it go?,,,,oh well,I basically said: REJOICE! because ABBY is with the GOD OF CREATION!& HE loves her,as HIS,own sweet child,& HE will forever! you dwell on this,daily & stop mourning, ABBY is happy! REJOICE!,,,,,,sincerely with love,carol mart 🙂 ❤

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ballet you say - February 26, 2016

Comments need to be approved before they appear on my blog (to avoid spam and trolls.) your longer comment now appears. 😊 Just because I get a little wistful or even racked with sobs at times does not mean that I don’t also rejoice at Abby’s life in heaven. Heaven had never been so REAL, so CLOSE to me than having a daughter who lives in glory. I think you missed the point of my post.

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4. Lori Florida - February 26, 2016

Love to you. These are beautiful, meaningful words. Thanks for sharing them with the rest of us.

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