I’ve been going back and forth on posting this piece, just because there is no easy way to explain these feelings and also because it’s hard to admit I even have them. Today I want to talk about how different the love sometimes feel between the one I lost and the one I have, and how that can make me feel. Now don’t get me wrong, both Sahar and Ayden are my children, both little pieces of my husband, me, and the love we share. I love both my children as much. There is no cell in my entire being that doubts that (or ever has). But although it’s hard to admit, there is a difference. Not so much in the amount of love or even in its intensity, the difference lies in how it’s experienced.
Sahar made a mother. A loving one. A new one. A proud one. A broken one. A compassionate one. A brave one. A strong one. A bereaved one. A grateful one.
In her way too short life she has taught me lessons that I never expected to learn. She still teaches me in her absence. She has changed me and how I want to live my life for the better. She walks with me and showers me with love and light through every sunrise, every colourful butterfly and every blissful dream. She may be gone, but she is in our lives never the less. I could not imagine my world and life without her.
Ayden made a mom again. A loving one. A nurturing one. A smiling one. A comforting one. A tired one. A blissful one. A worried one. A happy one. A caring one. A grateful one.
He has restored my trust and confidence in myself, my body, nature and even the world. He shows me possibilities and brings joy to every moment in my life. He fills my world with light, laughter, bliss and lots of work. He looks into my eyes and grabs my nose with his little fingers and melts my heart, several times a day. I could not imagine my world and life without him.
In my heart and soul, I know the love for my two children are the same love. But it manifests so differently. Which in turn can sometimes make me think it’s different. Or at least question myself.
The love for my daughter manifests in grief most of the time, but also in kindness, honesty, sharing and giving. It’s a love that manifests in spiritual and symbolic ways, like walks through nature, attending grief groups, talking to her when I’m alone, lighting candles, praying, writing on this blog and even creative activities like photography.
The love I feel for Ayden manifests in happiness and laughter most of the time, but also in worry and anxiety. It’s a love that manifests in many physical and spiritual forms, like endless kiss-marathons, cuddling, tickling and playing, hugging, comforting and holding, researching and trying to practice good parenting, reading bedtime stories and praying.
Although I understand that there is bound to be a difference in how our love manifests and is expressed for our children that are in heaven and those we are fortunate to have on earth, I cannot deny that it also troubles me a lot. I think it’s a parent’s ultimate goal to treat all their children the same way: to give them the same amount of love, attention and care. In the most simple of cases, this translates to planning the same amount of time, resources and dedication to each child. But when you have one in heaven and one on earth, that just doesn’t apply.
So what’s the right balance and how do you keep it? Do you ever think about these differences? How do you balance this in your life and your parenting? Let me know in the comments below!