Some days are easier than others, while the other days feel like a chaotic mess when it comes to parenting after loss. There may be times you feel sleep deprived, covered in baby puke, and no matter what you do nothing seems to go right. Other days all you may want to do is lock yourself away and cry. Despite everything, you have a smile in your heart, and you are thankful for those moments because one thing you learned from heartbreak is to never take a second of motherhood for granted.
For me, January is never an easy month for my family. Two years ago, on January 6, my husband and I had to say the hardest goodbye to our sweet little angel, Amelia. To this day it still hurts. A piece of our family is forever missing. I cannot begin to tell you how many people told me that “time heals all wounds,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Losing a child is an indescribable, inexpiable, painful feeling. As time passes you become stronger in a way, but there will always be little reminders of a lifetime that will forever be missed.
And it sucks.
When Amelia passed away, we had no other children. Two years later, I now have two little blessings from above that call me “mom.” I like to think that because of my loss I am a better parent, but a majority of the time I feel that my grief takes away from being the best that I can be to my kids. This year I found myself struggling around Amelia’s birthday/angelversary dates. I wanted to just lock myself away and cry, but I couldn’t. I now have two little ones under two, and they do not understand why I feel the way I do. I want my children to know all about their older sister in heaven, but I don’t want them to feel like they are a replacement. I try tell my kids all about Amelia, but they are still young. It’s hard finding that balance.
This year Amelia would have been two years old, and the biggest emotion I felt was guilt.
I felt guilty that I was not grieving my daughter I lost. Guilty that I was not myself around this holiday season. Guilty that I’m not being the perfect parent my kids deserve because I’m wrapped up in so many feelings of being unsure of what to do. The list goes on.
Parenting after loss is a mix of so many emotions, and the hardest part is to not feel like a failure when you have a bad day. Despite the days where everything feels like complete chaos, I am beyond thankful to be blessed with a double rainbow of joy. Seeing your kids grow up before your eyes, hit their milestones, smile, laugh, and learn is such a blessing, but at the same time a little sad. Not a day goes by that you don’t think about your angel, but in a way it’s like your angel’s spirit lives on in the pure smiles of your children, and you feel a fullness in your broken heart, especially during the tough days you’re holding back those tears. Those tough days lead to the long nights of extra snuggles and holding your children here on earth a little tighter, praying that tomorrow there will be more smiles, laughter, and love.