(With Aurora, 2019-- age 4)
Aurora is currently four years old. She was born five months after her daddy’s death. Unlike her older sister, she never got to meet the man. There are no photos of them together. Even as I still carried her in my womb I anticipated the pain of this loss for her, of never having known her dad. It was something I wished I could spare her from, but I was not so naive as to think I could.
Earlier this month she told me, “I miss Daddy.” This is something she says from time to time. I acknowledged her feelings. Then the sadness rose in her voice, a deeper grief, and she expressed something I wasn’t prepared to hear just yet. “And I didn’t even get to see him, not even when I was a baby. Abbi got to see him when she was a baby and I didn’t. Because I was just a tiny baby in your belly when he died.”
It had really clicked in her brain… at four years and five months old. I struggled to keep it together but now was not the time to fall apart. My voice caught as I spoke all that I could find to say. “I know, baby. It doesn’t really seem fair, does it? I wish you could have met him, too. He was so excited about meeting you. He loved you so much.” Aurora shook her head in agreement.
“You know what?” I continued. “God is so good; even though you didn’t get to meet Daddy. God is a good Father. He gives us what we need. And God also sent Don to be another daddy in your life. He loves you so much, even though he’s not your first daddy. He loves you and Abbi just the same as he loves Nevaeh. Isn’t that wonderful, the way God sent him to love you and help take care of you?”
Aurora visibly brightened and relaxed. “Yeah.” We cuddled and finished getting ready for bed.
Grief is not something you one day "finish"— not in cases of any significant loss. I will always have some grief work in progress, as will my daughters. It’s a journey, and some moments, days, or weeks are harder than others. I do believe however, that it can be navigated. I also firmly believe that life can still hold beauty when we are able to find love/support and hang on to faith.
(Aurora's 1st birthday party, Nov. 2015)