Hello death friends.
I am working on some things for our social media presence, and came across something I had meant to share with you all previously that I don’t think I had, so I’m sharing it now!
As some of you may remember, I was very pregnant with my second child when my mom died and had my baby 5 weeks after she passed. It was the most difficult time in my life without question. Adjusting to life without my mother, trying to help my family and myself navigate through our grief, all while readying myself and my home for baby #2 was incredibly overwhelming. Eleanor was born on June 24 and this time of year is extremely busy for my husband who works at a golf course and sometimes works 60+ hour weeks, so needless to say much of that work was done on my own.
It is a strange phase of life to be in when you lose someone so close to you – to be literally growing a life inside you while the life you came from reaches it end, in a rather abrupt way as it were. It felt like I was stuck in the circle of life, (queue The Lion King soundtrack) in a part that I couldn’t escape, that felt so unfair to be in.
Both times that I named my daughters, I found that their names came to me, rather than I had chosen them. Once I had came across a name that I liked, it seemed like those names popped up everywhere, like God was telling me, Yes, this is what her name is supposed to be. With Isabel, it was the name of my sister’s volleyball coach, the name on a marketing tool – a magnet that a company was sending to its subscribers, the name of the girl in a book I was reading. For Eleanor, it was the name of my grandmother, the Pinterest examples of little girl rooms I was searching for.
I found the same thing happened with this Bible verse.
I was raised Catholic, both of my girls have been baptized Catholic as well, though I would say that I’m more of a spiritual person than a religious one; I believe in God and don’t usually go to church on Sunday’s if that clears things up and I have had a hard time softening my heart in terms of my faith in the years that have passed since my mom died. We’ll get to that eventually.
But I kept finding that this Bible verse was finding its way to me to in one way or another. I had never even heard it before my mom died, and yet somehow, I was seeing it right when I was supposed to. Like it was meant for me, like God was saying, Yes, this is supposed to be yours.
Isaiah 66:9 – I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born.
I had the pain, plenty of it, more than I ever wanted to have in my lifetime. It was heavy and suffocating and sharp. It took away the ignorance that comes with youth, that tomorrow’s that are certainly guaranteed and the people you love only die when they’re old and sick, and definitely not before you’re ready, not without warning.
And now I have the something new. She is dramatic (which my mother would relish, for the record) and funny and so incredibly smart. She has the most delightful little personality and is the sweetest little cuddly girl. Whenever I am sad or missing my mother, she always does something that I swear comes from my mom. She takes my face in her hands and looks into my eyes and smiles her sweet smile, as if she can infuse happiness into my body with those little, pink nail polished hands. She only ever does this when I’m missing my mom, like she can somehow see the sadness I keep hidden.
I have the something new – a family that is now more full with Eleanor in it, with Isabel as a big sister, a little mother hen following her counterpart around; with Dominic getting to experience fatherhood with an infant and with me as a mama to two girls, trying to carefully give my love and attention everywhere it is needed. This family was quite literally, born out of that pain. The days now consist of much more happiness than sadness, more laughter than tears and when we talk about my mom, more often than not, we are smiling and laughing and sharing memories of only good times.
If you’re reading this and struggling in your grief, know that just around the corner is your “new.” It certainly isn’t the way you had imagined life, I’m sure, but it’s the life you’ve got, and one you’re so lucky to be in.
And if you’re reading this and you’ve turned the corner in your grief, and your days are more light than they are dark – welcome to your “new.”