This is a very hard post to write. In our culture, we are expected to deal with many things without asking for help. That makes it awkward when someone you care about is facing a trial in life. Should you jump in and do the things you think they want? Should you stay quiet and hope they know you're there for them? Should you give the well meaning but often unanswered, "Call me if/when you need anything?"
So I am doing what I want you to do when you need me. Because everyone grieves differently I am asking, specifically, for what our family would like leading up to Violet's first birthday, as we add baby D to our family, and in the future.
Most of all, we want her to be remembered.
We want to talk about her. We love when you bring her up just as you would E or D.
We want to celebrate her. We plan to have a special day together, just the 3 of us, on her birthday, but we welcome your love in remembering her, too. We will have a cake and make it a "typical" birthday celebration in E's eyes, but we will also be celebrating the fact that we've survived the year. We are stronger and more in love because she lived.
We had Random Act of Kindness cards made up with Violet's picture
on them. The idea (from another grieving mom and friend of mine) is
that anyone who would like to participate can do something kind for
someone else on Violet's birthday (November 2nd) and give them the card
which hopefully they will pass on to someone else with more kindness and
love. Then we are going to track all the love that was passed on in
honor of our sweet girl here at my blog.
We want to know if you cry, laugh, smile thinking about her. We love when you send us pictures, texts, and messages letting us know what reminded you of her.
We want pictures and mementos of her in our home. We welcome your additions to this and we would love if you'd like to remember her in these ways, too.
We want you to feel free to continue to tell us any memories you may have of our time with her, including the pregnancy or your thoughts when she was born whether you met her or not. We cherish the letters some of you have written about her because we can always read them. Our memories are sometimes foggy because of the shock of what we were experiencing. We can pass these letters on to E and D.
We want you to include her when you talk about our family. We do every day. E draws her in pictures. She talks about her new brother AND her sister. We have three children, not two.
We want you to understand that E is processing this as she grows and D will, too. E is learning what dying means which is painful but necessary in her little world right now. We are trying to support her and make this as healthy as possible by seeking the advice of professionals as we walk this journey with her (and D, eventually, too).
I know this isn't always easy, but every day we are missing her. All of these things are ways you can make that hurt less for our family. Please don't be afraid of making us sad. We are much more sad when we feel like we can only talk about her privately.
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