I have a daughter. She would be turning seven on October 9th of this year. I dream of her sometimes, imagining what she would look like wondering if she would have my blue eyes and blonde hair. I wonder if she would love reading and get lost in the stories of my favorite children’s books. Would she giggle over puppy kisses and constantly smell of strawberries from her shampoo?
For so long, I have held her memory close to me in shame. Shame over the circumstances of her conception and the choice I made in not carrying her to term. But the more I start to deal with my grief over the loss of my little girl, I realize that while I say I want to honor her, the shame I have does the exact opposite. The shame that I have does nothing but hold her in bondage to my inner demons, and I want so much more for my child. And so I am choosing to honor her.
I am choosing to honor her memory: the weeks I carried her within me, telling stories and singing songs; the knowledge that she was a girl, knowing her name from the start; and the trust that she is in heaven with Papa, dancing in white dresses. I am choosing to honor the gift that she gave me, the gift of bearing a new name- Momma. And in the moments when I don’t know how to honor her because of the grief, I will allow myself to feel. I will allow myself to feel sadness and pain. For pain can be a subtle thing, waiting for the moments when I let my guard down before coming back again. I will tell myself that it is okay to feel the way I do. It is okay for me to miss the little girl I didn’t get to see, and it is okay for my heart to be broken. But it is not okay for me to get lost in it.
Because losing myself in the pain does not honor her, instead it takes away her value. And she is worthy of remembrance and love. She is worthy of being honored. So while I do not yet know what honoring her looks like, I will do my best to find something each day to remind mer of her: the colors in a sunrise and sunset, daffodils, and seashells. I will hold these things close to my heart and in doing so, I will be holding her.
I have a daughter. A daughter dancing in white dresses in heaven. This year, I will celebrate her birthday because she is worthy of being honored. And I am worthy of healing. I have a daughter. A beautiful daughter named Addison Cale who dances in white.