Today, the girls, Jeff and I attended an annual memorial service at Seattle Children’s. This was our first year since we were unable to go last year. We walked into the same auditorium I spoke on a parent panel back in March. This time there was a table full of pictures and mementos of children and babies who have died. There were books filled with pages and pages of names. I’ve been in this horrible club for nearly two years now. I am never used to or unaffected by another story of a child who died.
I looked around the room and saw so much pain. Tons of crying moms and dads. It was overwhelming, difficult and oh so heart breaking. All of the parents there struggled because they miss their child. Through that pain I could see and feel so much love.
Years and years ago I remember thinking it was unhealthy for parents who had lost a child to be talking about them years later. Now I understand how wrong that is. Would you stop talking about your living chid? One day just decide you don’t want to share their photos or your love for them? Of course not. As parents who have lost our child, so many things are gone. Their physical presence, the joy of watching them grow, their future, and so much of your heart. One thing that never goes away is the love we have for them. No one can touch the kind of a love between a parent and their child. Death doesn’t change that.
Our love for Blake doesn’t ever leave. I know that people assume with time comes a lessening of sorts. Lessening of pain, thoughts, heartache. That is not our truth. They assume a rainbow baby somehow saves you. That is not our truth. Ayla doesn’t make my heart hurt less for her sister. We aren’t complete. We never will be again. I don’t think I’ll ever fully accept that.
All of that to say, events like this memorial give space for me to keep showing my love for Blake. My love for her will never change. I get to be her mama forever and I am so grateful for that.