Note: #OurBorrowedAngels is a series I will continue on my blog through the end of October in recognition of Infant Loss Awareness. If you have experienced the loss of a child, whether through miscarriage, stillbirth, infancy, or an older child, I would love to share your story. Contact me if you are interested. Be sure to check out the current GIVEAWAY)
(From Aaliyah’s mother, Tracey:)
When you lose your child your world stops spinning….
It’s like the movies where your standing in the streets, paused, and life around you just keeps on rushing by. There is a pain lodged deeply in your heart, that nothing will ever be able to dislodge it. Instead it becomes a part of you, and you learn to live and function with this ailment. It doesn’t heal. You simply learn to continue on. And every time a precious child is taken too soon, you feel that pain again. It’s not like any sickness ever felt before. Unless you yourself have lost, its unimaginable.
Some days when you’re feeling happy and enjoying life, you feel guilty cause that precious part of you is not enjoying it with you. And then there are family photos that never feel complete! Jealousy comes and goes as other children your child’s age hit birthdays and landmarks in their lives. Not that you wish they weren’t, only that your child could also!
Oh, and the feeling of gratitude that comes when someone remembers your child, or tells a memory of them out of nowhere. Makes you feel like a proud mother again because you are, you just can’t express that like you used to! No one can feel your individual hurt, or tell you everything will get “better”! At the end of the days, or months or years, you still ache for your baby! You still wait with great anticipation for that day you can hold your child again.
This was my feeling as I lived through yet another year mark of the day my beautiful daughter went home. Ten years this year… and it’s still tough!
October 2004 I became a mother to a beautiful precious little girl. She was my angel from the moment I held her tiny body. I had never felt so much love in all my life! She had beautiful, big, dark eyes and a head full of hair that I could not believe. Her hair grew so fast, I could bob it up and in no time at all it was long again. She would comfort me when I was sad, patting my arm and asking if I was ok. For a 2-year-old, she was so much older and wiser! She was just the most intoxicating character. So funny and cheeky and loving! She taught me how to be a mum, how to care more and love more and made me more then I was without her special spirt! She loved Disney movies, and LOVED to sing–Oh boy, did she sing! She loved her extended family a lot, and bought happiness with her wherever we took her! She had a little friend toy dog, Digby, that she dragged along everywhere we went. She took such great comfort from that puppy. Now I take comfort from it too!!
It’s too painful to relive the happening of her leaving. I will just tell you she passed from suffering an asthma attack in the early hours of the morning. It was a Tuesday morning. She was 2-years and 4-months old! My heart wrenches with pain at the memory of that day. The days following, I have very little memory at all, it’s all a blur! I wrote poems and letters to her and spent most days sitting next to her grave. Adding anything pink and anything special to the plot because there was nothing else I could do for her. As a mother, as a person, I felt empty!
We had so much love and support from family and friends and our church family. A wonderful missionary couple, who had served us when I was in my youth contacted us, sharing their testimony of our Savior and hope of eternal families. Their personal experience of the loss of one of their daughters drew me closer to them. And my goal and dream of having my sweet daughter sealed to me grew stronger! As her mother, I felt I owed her that much, and felt guilty that I wasn’t worthy of that blessing for her when she came to me.
Long story short on the 16th November 2007, I was sealed to my beautiful daughter, with my sister representing her at the altar. My mum, dad and brother in-law were also there. The previous day (15th), three of us received our endowment in preparation for that sacred day that followed. My parents were sealed to each other. My sister and I were sealed to our parents, my sister to her husband. And her children to them, all in one day. I can only imagine the celebration from my family, from my daughter, on the other side of the veil.
I tell this part of my story because without my sweet angel, I don’t know if any of this would of happened in this life. This was my daughter’s mission. She was sent here to help us, me and my family, to remember what is really important. It took a special little cheeky soul to soften the heart of an old man (I say this fondly, my father), so stubborn it took him thirty-five years to return to the gospel. It took us having to saying goodbye to my daughter, to realize we never ever want to say good bye again! In the years that followed, my two brothers and their families also attended the temple to be sealed, and my father was sealed to his parents.
My testimony is strong, my knowledge of the plan of salvation is set in stone. But I still hurt. I still miss her. I still wonder if I had woken ten, twenty minutes sooner if I could have saved her. I cherish the memories and photographs I have. I teach her little brother and sister all about her and they will forever know her, their big sister, without having the opportunity of meeting her here on earth.
Aaliyah is my oldest daughter. She is my motivation to be better, to be worthy! I love her, just as I did the first time she came into my life almost thirteen years ago. I pray she knows this. I pray she hears it when I speak out loud to her now.
Here is the poem I wrote to my Aaliyah on the 7th anniversary of her returning to Heavenly Father! I hope our story helps others who are grieving, if nothing else, helps them to know they are not alone.
Sitting here without you
Wondering what to say
Wish you’d come and see me
But I’d know you couldn’t stay.
I hope that you are happy
That you see us now and then.
I hope we make you proud of us,
We’re doing the best we can!
Time is going by so fast
But it kinda still stands still.
It’s doesn’t feel like seven years
since we said good bye to you!
I still cry, the pains still fresh
But I’ve learned to hold it in
To trust in faith and push on through
Till we meet again!
So today I’ll smile and think of you.
I’ll celebrate your life,
Remembering all the fun and games
you bought into my life!
Families are Forever!
Love you, My Aaliyah