I’ve been reading a book my mother-in-law bought us shortly after we lost Aveline called When The Bough Breaks, by Judith Bernstein. I’ll be honest — as much as I love reading self help books, the inspiring things I read usually leave my mind the second I put the book down. I quickly forget all the helpful tips and revert back to my normal ways of handling things. Stubbornness I guess. But this passage in the book really spoke to me and I haven’t been able to forget about it. Have a read.
There are moments, and even days, where all I want to do is pull the shades in our room, cover my head with a blanket, and sleep the day away because sleeping is the only time I don’t feel that gut wrenching heartache throughout my entire body. And I won’t lie, there may be days where I do just that. The leader of one of the support groups we went to put it best: “Sitting in your room crying, with the shades drawn is not doing nothing; its grieving for your baby. And there’s nothing wrong with doing that for a little while.” But then there are days when I just want to give up. I don’t want to feel the pain anymore. I don’t want to miss my little girl for the rest of my life. I want to be with her, and no amount of words or comfort can convince me it will ever get any easier. I want to crawl into a dark hole and stay there until God decides to take me. These kind of moments are the ones that force me to hang on tight to this passage. I’ve told myself many times that I could give up. I could choose to stop living. No one could blame me. No on is going to say, “why on earth is that mother who lost her child grieving so badly that she decided to give up on her life?” Of course they wouldn’t say that, because anyone could understand why I would. But then who is going to ensure that Ava’s spirit stays alive on earth? Who is going to honor her? Who is going to talk about her life and how will she ever touch the heart of others if Ryan and I just give up? How will she influence the future then? She wouldn’t. If Ryan and I give up, Aveline’s life was all for nothing. I could never, ever do that to her. My sweet baby girl deserves to remembered; she deserves the world. And since I can’t give her the world, I have to do everything in my power to make sure the world knows her. Ava has already given me so much. She’s already changed me. I truly am a better person because of my baby. That’s where part of my guilt comes from. She has given me more than I could ever ask for, and I feel like I barely gave her anything. The only way I will ever be able to live with that is to spend my life doing things to make her proud. The pain from losing her is so immeasurably strong, but my love for her is stronger.
Clearly my love for her is stronger, because I got a tattoo today. And it fricken hurt. I’ve always told myself that I would never get a tattoo. They just weren’t for me. But for you my precious baby girl, I’d do anything. I love you, Aveline Mae.