Three Years

I vividly remember running into blogs written by women who had lost a child three years ago (and our grief was fresh). The thought of being that far in time from holding your child seemed unfathomable. Tomorrow we will be starting the journey to four years.

How do you do this every year?

Every number feels impossible.

One day it will be twenty years ago we lost a little girl.

Will I still say her name? Talk about her? Have her things sprinkled in every corner of our house? I can’t imagine that I wouldn’t.

The things that I do on a daily basis are a direct result of those 13 days and that wretched goodbye.

This week I have been so frustrated that I could not gain that closeness, the closeness I felt to her right after she died. In fact I had a hard time figuring out what it was that made me feel close to her again. Somehow over the years that changes too.

I decided to take a trip to the attic. Scramble through her things. Touch those dresses she was meant to wear, hold those shoes again.

I was a hot mess coming down, but it helped a little. I have to admit I felt a little nuts. I am so afraid of embracing life so freely for the beautiful thing it has become, that I will lose her completely.

I haven’t cried a whole lot, but the ache is there. Somehow heaven and earth know she came into the world early this morning three years ago. That void is there everyday but it is magnified on days like today.

That doesn’t make me sad. It eases that fear of forgetting her.

You want to know something sweet? All week long little things have been happening that just had Jenna written all over them. I have pictures, that I am just too tired to pull out tonight, but they were truly heaven-sent.

Heaven is real, and much much closer than it feels.

I am afraid of embracing life after losing her, even though I strongly believe in not wasting a day, moment or time. This is my challenge, being poured out — how to embrace life, and carry grief at the same time.

An idea that only sparked a couple of months ago, which I am completely honored to share on her 3rd birthday in Heaven today.

Join me, won’t you?

19 thoughts on “Three Years

  1. I want to say “I understand” but I hesitate to say that anymore. I haven’t walked in your shoes. I haven’t held a baby and then said goodbye. I HAVE missed a baby that never made it to our family for *gulp* 6.5 years now. I have worried that if I fully healed, I would not be honoring as I should. Even those years of mourning and raw pain, looking back, were beautiful.

    All just to say…. I’ll be thinking of you on Jenna’s 3rd birthday. I think it’s truly beautiful and inspiring how you’re seeking to love life and pour yourself into helping this community of bereaved parents.

    Thank you.

  2. Happy Birthday Jenna. My blog is almost three years old and I also know these woman.
    I have been seeing all my BLM celebrating the third birthday in Heaven of their precious babies. You have all come so far in your walk which has to give others hope who are now walking behind you in their journey. The magazine is a wonderful idea and as we all know you are very creative. I wish you success and I will do all that I can to spread the word.

  3. Fran….. your words touch me right on the sore spot in my heart.
    And Jenna has a fabulous shoe collection…… Clare would have been same…. all girls need great shoes!!

  4. Thinking about you as you journey into year four. We are coming up on celebrating 11 years of our Jeffrey. Even this far along, every number seems impossible. 11?? Where does the time go? I still think about him every day and remember the brief moment we shared. btw – I agree about her shoe collection – just darling!! :)

  5. Happy 3rd Birthday in Heaven, sweet girl! I hear there’s a gorgeous moon planned for your celebration tonight. Can you share your cake with my Charlie? I’m sure the cake is delicious. Make sure your family feels your love and warmth today and always. Can’t wait to see all our babies one day. Til then, play big!

  6. Thank you for all you do, you are an inspiration. Wishing Jenna a happy 3rd birthday, and wishing you much peace & happiness today.

    Many hugs,
    Angel momma to Mattiaus, and momma to one on the way

  7. Time passing scares me. We’re coming up on the 6 month mark this month. I am dreading it. A year? Three years? Twenty? Those numbers, that amount of time — it scares me. But seeing you (and others) walk through it before me gives me hope. Biggest hugs for you today, Fran, for so many reasons…

  8. It will be 2 years since I’ve said “Hello” and “Goodbye” to my sweet Annaya on August 27th. We share a birthday and although the first year was EXTREMELY hard, I survived. I am honoring her this year as well as celebrating my life by having a book drive. Last year I collected 25 books honoring a variety of angels and sent them to an orphanage. This year I am praying for 100 to be donated to a homeless shelter. It brings me such joy knowing that each time a book is opened an angel’s name will be read.

    Yes, time passes and we find ways to honor our Angels. We remember them even if “normal” people do not acknowledge their existence.


  9. I found your blog through your Still Standing FB page… as a mama who’s had 2 miscarriages in the past year, I have a broken heart that misses those babies like crazy. I can’t imagine having to say goodbye after meeting your baby in person and getting to hold her. My sister recently had a beautiful son who was stillborn at 37 wks. It is a heartbreaking experience, but somehow… we are all still standing. I’m not sure how I’d do it without my faith. I cannot wait to one day meet my babies in heaven! I tell my 2 yr old son that his siblings live in heaven with Jesus with our little nephew. Best wishes to you and love the SS page!

  10. Happy Birthday to sweet Jenna! I too can hardly believe that it has been 3 years, where does the time go? Even as things change over time, your love for her never will! There is so much beauty and so much to love in this life, and I think our girls want us to do that, you are doing that so gracefully, and helping so many people at the same time!!

  11. Happy 3rd birthday in heaven, beautiful Jenna Belle. And, much love to you, beautiful Franchesca.

    P.S. You will still say her name in 20 years, I promise. She is forever etched in your heart. You are her mama. It has been 15 years since we said goodbye to our Faith and Grace. Their names are still among the sweetest words to my ears…along with our Thomas.

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