When I found out I was pregnant, I was beyond excited. Not just for the obvious reasons. Last Thanksgiving we got the call that my Papa’s cancer had moved to his brain and was quickly growing and he would have to be put on hospice. A year ago today, my Dad and I drove to Arkansas to help take care of him. For the next month my family helped take care of him. It was a very difficult December, to say the least, and a couple of days after we had our Christmas with him, he passed away. I wasn’t looking forward to my first Christmas without my Papa, but I was going to have a sweet new baby for Christmas. God had blessed me with a special gift that I’d treasure, that would bring joy to not only me, but my family as well for Christmas.
One of my first thoughts when I found out Brielle had anencephaly was, “What kind of sick joke is this?” To take my Papa and my daughter away from me within a year of each other, on Christmas? What kind of sick God does something like that? I was angry, but mostly deeply, maddeningly hurt. I’m still not sure why God gave us a baby on the first try, that would be born around the holidays, and then die. I hurt, but that anger and hurt aren’t at or from God anymore.
I have a lot of confusion, one day I’ll come to terms with everything. For now, I feel like an open bursting wound. And I hate it. I hate that this is happening now, at Christmas, one of my favorite times of the year. I love Christmas and this is too much.
While I hate all this pain, I’m not going to let it consume me. We get to choose how we handle what the world throws at us. We don’t get to choose what happens in our life, but our attitude we do get to control. David and I won’t be miserable, we’re going to grieve, but we’re not going to live in darkness.
This weekend is David’s birthday. We’re going to see The Nutcracker, take a Christmas historic home tour in Marietta, take the dogs to the farmers market in the square. I’m going to wear myself out and we’ll end up watching a funny movie to distract us from the grief of watching families with young children.
We’ll lean on each other and lift the other up when we’re too deep in grief. We’ll think about how happy Brielle is. We’ll remind each other that we’re not grieving Brielle’s fate, we’re grieving our own. The loss of a perfect baby that was too good for our world. We’ll have a bittersweet weekend.
I’ve said this over and over again, but I cannot stress it enough, the loss of Brielle is horrific, but her life was not. We crammed a lifetime into her ten months here with us. She was the greatest light we ever knew, she brought more joy into this world than we could ever imagine. I’m not going to let that be overshadowed by my pain. I don’t know God’s plan, but I know her story isn’t over. I’m just along for the ride, and I’ll constantly seek out ways to honor Brielle’s legacy. She’s too wonderful not to.