Dear beautiful Sophia,
Lately I’ve noticed that I have been watching more TV and Netflix than usual. I’ve been going from one source of media to the other without much of a break in between. After I put Champ to bed I’ll spend a few hours just mindlessly playing computer games, sometimes with a movie playing in the background too.
I stopped for a moment to ponder why this increased amount of “noise” in my life, and I realized the answer: I’m afraid of the silence.
In the silence my thoughts drift to you, and to the fact that I still have no child to call my own. In the silence I have to listen to the thoughts in my head, and the feelings in my heart. When all is still around me I am confronted with this ache in my heart and arms that is due to the fact I don’t have my little girl anymore.
In the past 4 or 5 months my grief has gotten much easier. Since we started fostering Champ I had something to distract me from it, and also I had him to help me heal. Since we’ve had him, almost six months now, I have still thought about you everyday, but I have stopped watching videos of you. I see them in folders on my computer, but I’m afraid to watch them. I know that once I open that door of emotions, there will be no stopping the outpouring of sadness, and most days I just don’t want to face that.
Today is May 1st, and the beginning of my “Sophia season.” I think on a subconscious level I knew it was coming, so the last two weeks my heart has started putting up protective shields in the form of endless noise around me. My heart is trying to protect me from the deafening silence that only comes from the loss of a child. There is no silence worse than this. A silence that should be filled with sweet baby giggles and coos. Instead, I hear nothing.
At my school I am helping my students write letters to their mothers for Mother’s Day, all the while knowing that I will never receive a letter from you. There is only silence.
I don’t want it to be like this. I want to be aware of you on every level possible. I want your sound and smell and image to be a part of all the moments of my day. But the truth is, I simply cannot handle that. Sophia, it hurts too much to really remember how beautiful you were and how I had a little girl, but now I don’t.
A year ago my days were filled with so much hope and prayer and excitement. I truly believed that God was going to heal you and that we would be able to bring you home and love you every moment of every day. Now I know that isn’t what He chose to do, and it kills me to remember the girl I used to be. It’s like watching a horror movie, knowing that something really terrible is around the corner, but seeing that the character in the movie isn’t aware. The character in the movie is smiling and chatting with her friends, not knowing that in a few moments something terrible is about to happen to her. That how I feel now, a year later. Last year, May and June were the months of hope. I didn’t think that you would be dead before the end of July.
Now I know, and now I have to replay the happy memories in my head with the knowledge that they will end in sadness.
Sophia, these are the types of thoughts that occur when things around me are still and silent, and that is why I have cocooned myself inside the walls of noise and distractions.
If I just keep moving, maybe grief will never catch me.
But the thing is, I know that’s not healthy. That is an unsustainable way to go through life, especially life that has been slathered in grief. I know that I have to dig deep, sift through the pain, keep remembering the precious things, and not let Satan rob me of my hope that is found in Christ.
I need to choose to re-watch all those precious videos of you, because they are all I have now. I can’t turn my back on them.
Sophia, I pray that God will carry me through the next 2 1/2 months just as He carried me through the months after you passed away. I pray that I will be able to handle all this sadness in a healthy way so that this time next year I won’t be filled with so much dread.
I pray that in the silence the only thing I will hear is His voice, lovingly telling me that it’s going to be ok, and that it won’t always be like this.
I will end this letter with a video of you and me. To break the silence and remember how wonderful it was to be able to hold you and sing to you.
I love you baby girl,