Thursday, December 18, 2008

9 months

Hard to believe. My stomach drops when I let it sink in. We had 9 months of life with Cara, and now we're living into 9 months of death. It shouldn't have been this way. We miss our baby girl so much.

Cynthia and I were talking last night about how over the past couple of weeks we've been moving into an acceptance stage in our grief journey. We shared this last night and I share this now with so much reservation. Because here's what acceptance doesn't mean. It doesn't mean "we're over it" or "we're moving on." It doesn't mean that the grief and pain is over. It doesn't mean that our grieving and mourning stops here. It doesn't mean that we forget.

But it does mean that we are starting to accept and live more into our new reality of a life forever marked by Cara. It means that each and every day we'll wake up and think of what could have been with our firstborn, baby girl. It means that the pain and grief from life without Cara will be present the rest of our lives, but it just won't be quite as raw. It means that Cara will be an integral part of all our family traditions for the rest of our lives. It means that Cara's brothers and sisters, and extended family and friends will know Cara, and hear many stories about how she changed us forever.

I said to Cynthia last night that I feel like this past year will be big blur when we look back. Cynthia quickly corrected me and rightfully so. She said that she thinks we'll remember this year more than ever in the years to come. She described this year as the richest and fullest year we've ever had...

We experienced our first pregnancy and the birth of Cara. And even though there is so much pain from her death, her life brought so much richness into our world. 9 months later Cynthia and I can say that because of Cara our marriage is so much stronger. Because of Cara we have taken better care of ourselves emotionally (through counseling) and physically. 9 months later, because of Cara we have slowed down the pace of our life so we can enjoy the richness of hikes, bike rides, birdwatching, gardening, quiet moments in our house, vacation trips, our church community, dates together, and visits with family and friends. Because of Cara, I'm pursuing a vocation that is closely linked to my passion for music. Because of Cara we're starting a Healing Ministry at our church. Because of Cara life is rich and full of more purpose, hope, peace and love than we've ever known.

Because of Cara...
Cara will continue to bring many more wonderful things into our lives. It doesn't stop here, it doesn't stop at 9 months.

1 comment:

Leslie Parkins said...

I'm so thankful you shared this about your grief journey...and what acceptance means and what it does not mean. As one of your many friends, I'm grateful for your honesty and vulnerability which seems to awaken something inside of me. I know that Cara's life will continue to impact my life and how I see the world. I look forwad to what is next for the both of you.