A friend just reminded me that I haven't written in a while. She asked how we are doing. It's such a complicated answer.
First off, we had a beautiful time spreading Abby's ashes. I'm so glad we waited a year so we could really connect with the moment. Both sets of our parents, both of our brothers and my brothers family, and our good friend Beth were with us to remember Abigail. They had all been very involved in our journey, so it was a fitting group.
My most meaningful moments were had during the hour before we went for a short hike. I sat at the base of Rainier, warmed by a beautiful day, and just absorbed the mountain and it's new meaning. My daughter is now part of that amazing mountain. My tiny little baby, who barely had time to breath our air is now helping to nourish life on Mt. Rainier. It's a beautiful circle.
Trever then climbed Rainier with 4 friends. They made the push to the summit without camping (their first time doing that). It was a long/tiring trip. He said some of the group acknowledged they were only sticking with the climb for his benefit. Trever was deeply touched by the commitment and generosity of the whole group. When they made the summit they had time to remember Abby, and Trever left the last pinch of her ashes on the top. It was a very emotional trip for him.
A week or two later we were flying home from a trip. Trever was sitting at the window watching as we passed Mt Rainier. He said he was completely overcome by emotion. Tears streamed down his face as he thought of our new connection to a mountain he has loved for so long.
We are "ambushed" by grief at the most unexpected moments. Luckily I think we both find more comfort than anguish from those moments.
The grief helps us connect to a reality that is so hard to comprehend.
The other day I was unloading the dishwasher and suddenly I was thinking, "did I really have a baby who died".
It's shocking, it's sometimes overwhelming, it has changed me deep in my soul. And sometimes I cannot comprehend that any of this journey actually took place. I feel so fortunate and so sad all at the same time.
I think I've mentioned it before but I am so thankful that we had 19 weeks to embrace Abigail. I'm so thankful that we knew her story would be different. I believe it was a gift from God. I always believed I would not want to waste any of my time being pregnant with worry. I knew I would obsess over the unknowns if I knew that we had complications. I was wrong.
I cherish the memories that I created. I cherish the fact that I was able to slow down and be present even when life was so busy around me. I'm thankful that my kids had a deeper connection to a sister that they only shared brief moments with.
Spending time being thankful for all that we had makes me so sad for what we don't have.
Natalie told me she wished that Abigirl had spent more time with us. She shares her thoughts at times that I cannot figure out what prompted them. And she can't articulate it. I'm sorry her heart hurts, and thankful she loved her sister so deeply.
And I think more than anything, I'm thankful to know that we survived. That each of us is able to be engaged with our life, to still find joy and love and happiness.
That what I would have assumed would have easily devastated me, has really made us stronger. We are stronger as a couple, we are changed for the better as individuals.
Our little Angel taught us so much. And I'm so thankful we were given the chance to let her change our understanding of our world.
Some moments are filled with sadness, some with joy, most with longing. I don't think there are many moments that I am not remembering Abby, thinking of her and relating my life to the impact she had on me.
Because we were able to embrace the joys (and spend time preparing) we are left with less pain that I would have imagined. This is still one of my favorite quotes:
"So this is my life. And I want you to know I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be." The Perks of Being a Wallflower.