I love those willing to step into this world with me for one minute and truly be present. Today, a question was posed in which I was completely unprepared for its honesty, "Does it get any easier?" This beautiful mother, who has all of her living children, looked straight into my eyes, hers welling with tears as I choked back, "No." Because it doesn't get any easier, everyday my heart aches for my daughter in the same way that it is full with my son. The weight of my grief has shifted and it has made its way into different parts of my being but no, it certainly does not get any easier. I have joy, I love my life, I am so grateful for all that we DO have but you never miss your child any less or stop trying to understand the devastating loss of the one you love.
The other day I appreciated reading something to the effect of, "The weight of the loss doesn't get any lighter, you just get stronger carrying it." That thought stuck out to me, I am stronger now. Time has passed and the loss of my daughter tears at my heart (probably much more than is apparent on the outside) but I can carry the pain differently than I once did in those terrifying early days. However, it is still there and becomes even more evident as more cousins are being born and as Reid gets older and talks about his sister regularly. But, I carry Ruthie Lou differently now too; I work her foundation, I am on hospital advisory boards, I have ladybugs on the walls of my classroom as well as on my body, all so that I can say her name with pride and joy in my heart and a smile on my face.
And when I am lovingly asked if it ever gets easier, I can honestly (and so grateful for her openness) say, "No, but I am stronger now." Although answered with us both in tears, that conversation was the deepest entrance into my heart.
I am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.