As someone who prides herself on remembering dates & their significance, I am trying to accept that the 12th & 21st of each month just might be harder days for us --- they remind us of both the happiest & saddest times we have ever experienced and make us long to see our baby girl again.
Because I am the type of person who needs something to hold on to (not just physically, but emotionally & spiritually as well), I have found some reminders that help me get out of bed each morning, put one foot in front of the other, and get through another day without her.
One of the biggest reminders I have found comfort in are the photos we have of Charlotte. Over her 9 days of life, Sam & I managed to take more than a thousand pictures (thank goodness for our iPhones). At least once a day, I find myself scrolling through my phone looking at pictures of her and while they show the problems she constantly faced, they also remind me of the little details I loved about her – her fingers & toes, her beautiful eyes, and head full of hair for example.
Another reminder is the stories I hear from those who had the privilege of meeting her. Sadly, we weren’t able to have everyone come and meet her before she passed away, but did make sure both of our families had a chance to spend some one-on-one time with the newest family member. The remembrances they have of their time with her fill me with pride knowing the lives she touched in such a short amount of time.
The last reminder I hold close to me is the tangible objects that were with her in her hospital room. From blankets to stuffed animals, I have found comfort in knowing these items were close to her in her time of need. While navigating this new path of grief, I have found that I have what they call “empty arm syndrome” and having these items to hold, specifically a bear we refer to as Charlie, takes away some of the longing I have to hold her when I no longer can.
By no means do these reminders take away all the pain that we’re experiencing, but they do help make it not as hard. I would give everything I have in this world to hold her in my arms again, but since that’s not an option, I will have to hold on to these reminders until we see her again someday.