Tuesday, April 11, 2017

She's Mine

Stillbirth legacy

My deceased daughter’s legacy lives through me.  This is what I’ve come to learn in the twenty-seven months since the stillbirth of my second daughter. 

I welcome with an open heart and arms other people who join me, and I am especially grateful for the close family and friends who do carry her legacy.  However, I certainly don’t expect it from those beyond my intimate circle.

As the saying goes, life goes on.  The world keeps turning.  Each night births a new day and people have their own lives to be present with.  And I have mine, which includes the daily reality of being a mother to both a living and deceased daughter.  This was the hand I was dealt…no one else’s.  As other people’s lives carry on, I am ultimately the one left with my daughter’s legacy.  Everyday I decide: how will I choose to honor her? 

Lately, I have chosen to honor her quietly.  I enjoy picking roses and wildflowers from our garden with my living daughter to put by her urn or tending to her memorial tree in the park.  Other days I simply give her a squeeze in my heart.  And, for now, that’s enough…because she is mine. 

Sometimes I need to honor her loudly and shout from the rooftops.  I want her name to be seen and heard and her story to be known. 

This is how my grief has evolved over the last twenty-seven months.  I get to decide how her legacy gets carried out, big or small.  Both are ok.  Both are meaningful.  As my grief ebbs and flows into infinity, so will how I choose to honor her.  If others join me, they are welcome.  But how freeing it has been to not expect it.

I will always accept a hello, a hug, a picture, a thought, a prayer, or a candle lit in the name and memory of my deceased daughter, for I know her beauty and grace has touched many.  These moments are pure gift and fill my heart.  However, as the world keeps turning and the night keeps falling, her legacy returns to me to carry on.

So join me if you want, quiet or loud.

If not, I will always be here honoring her.

She’s mine. 

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