You know, I expected to be sad. The tears, the inconsolable, can’t breathe, body shaking sobs, kind of sad. But I’m not. Oh, I’m sad. I’m hurting. But it’s different. I sat alone in my living room, drinking my nightly tea, and thought about where I was a year ago. I thought about Brielle’s cute boutonniere and the kind woman who made it special just for her. I remembered feeling her dance to her first favorite song. I remembered the love David showered on her. How he teared up when she gave him his first Father’s Day card, all the love he had for her, completely overwhelming him. And I caught myself smiling.
My heart felt full. Blessed. And I found myself, once again, surprised at the feelings I’m having. I thought I’d cling to these memories, that I’d painfully struggle to keep every single one as clear as the moment it happened. I thought it would hurt to remember. That her absence would overwhelm me. But in this way, it doesn’t.
My memories aren’t just memories. They aren’t just moments, flashes, of a short little life. They are a life. They are a spectacular life. A loving, silly, wiggly, introverted, little life. And I love that little life, with all of my heart and soul. These memories we made with Brielle, the special things we did with her, they’re more than I can describe. They’re comforting. Almost as if they themselves fill the Brielle shaped hole in my heart.
And I think, sitting here today, I have a better understanding of why she isn’t here. I guess I always thought the best outcome would be a long life of her own. But maybe I missed something entirely. Brielle wasn’t just a baby, she was a blessing. A perfect little gift that brought us pure unconditional love for nine glorious months. The happiness and love we shared with her is more true and real than any other love I have ever heard of or experienced.
And maybe, maybe that’s why I’m not inconsolable. I wasn’t given a tragedy, I wasn’t given a defect, I was given a perfect little gift. The gift of pure, true love, and there’s no reason to mourn that. No reason to live a solemn life, Brielle wouldn’t want it.
I’m sad. I miss her. And I struggle to keep it together when I let myself think of her sweet little hands and her silly little wiggles. But I’m sad for me. Sad that I can’t touch her. That I can’t mother her. But that wasn’t her purpose. Her purpose was to love and be loved. To show me and the world what true love really is. Her life brought together people from all walks of life, beliefs, and cultures around the world and we all loved her and she loved us in turn. That is beautiful. And it’s a testament to the power of love and the need for love in our lives.
So I’m sad, but most of all, I am thankful. I am unbelievably thankful that my baby, my sweet Brielle Marie, was loved, gave love, and taught us all what is really important in life. And that makes me smile.