Holding a butterfly

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Three years after the loss of my daughter born still has passed in a hurry. Maybe it’s because I’ve been chasing my girls born before and after the loss of Lucy that’s made the time tick away faster than I’d like. I never knew, with all of life that happens each day, that I had forgotten to really heal myself along the way.

I’ve made sure my kids were ok by my broken heart. I’ve made sure Lucy continues to be a part of our lives and that we talk very openly about her life and death. I’ve made sure to include her in our family photos and to do things to remember her presence, albeit brief.

But, I forgot to acknowledge her life and death in a healing way for myself in these three years.

On the way to my new, full-time job last week, my neighbor looked over the fence to say good morning to me. She looked very sleepy-eyed but wanted to make sure to wish me luck, knowing I was anxious about leaving my kids in more full-time care to make this move in my career. She said, “Sage seems to be having a hard time sleeping.”

Sage, my rainbow baby, had in fact been waking every single morning anywhere between 4 and 5 a.m. I was mortified that my neighbor had heard her cries as my husband and I try to coax her back to sleep.

“No, please know you don’t have to apologize,” my neighbor said. “Those early morning tears come out of grief. I’d like to give you and Sage a session in my healing class sometime. She may be feeling your sadness for Lucy, and maybe I can help you both release that pain.”

With my makeup all done for my first day on the job, I sobbed. She’s right. I’m still just so broken. I think that to keep Lucy present, to know she existed, I can’t heal. I can’t forget her through pain.

I need to feel the pain still.

I went about my day thinking continuously about it. Sage kept waking up early and sobbing for me.

That weekend, I found myself chatting with a lovely mama of two girls at the nearby lake. We talked about all the places we had lived before and what schools our oldest will attend school at the next year. Then we talk about what we do. She tells me she does acupuncture, mainly helping people heal. Wow, we are again talking about healing and people in pain.

She tells me she does more than that really. When people are open and ready to talk about their grief, they come to her and she helps release that pain. I tell her about Lucy. I cry, and I open up. I tell her what my neighbor just said a few days ago. She looks at my 22 month old, that I’m standing nursing while talking with her, and she agrees with my neighbor. She said, “I see there’s a tightness in her stomach. That could be where she’s holding space for your sadness and your pain for Lucy.”

Now, I don’t exactly know how I feel about any of this.

I just don’t know. But who am I to deny any of this isn’t true? The universe seems to be screaming at me to get this together to help my daughter (and me) release something we’re holding onto.

This lovely mama and I just sort of have some real life moments together, feeling the warmth of the sun that day and having this space where we’re vulnerable to one another.

She reminds me that I won’t forget Lucy, even if I give her the space to fly (like the butterfly I have tattooed on me for her). I welcome her in our home, our lives, but I’m working on finding peace with losing her physical presence in our lives. I’m working on that. I have silent conversations with her and telling her it’s ok–I’m ok–we’re ok.

I can’t ever let her go from my heart, just as all loss families feel, but I can offer her a new space to be in.

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