One year…. One whole year since I last held my baby girl… One whole year since I last kissed her smiley face… One whole year since I
snuggled with her… One year ago today my little baby girl became free of the disease SMA- she now runs and plays in the clouds and looks over our family and gives us strength…this year has been difficult to say the least, but somehow we made it through…
A couple weeks after Violet passed away last year Bill and I attended a local Compassionate Friends meeting. Compassionate Friends is a national organization that holds local meetings for bereaved parents. While we only ever went to one of these meetings, we gained a lot and we met some really nice people- especially The Arroyo family, who lost their daughter Khloe to SIDS in March of last year. We felt
comfortable and we able to relate to many of the feelings people discussed. But after the meeting we decided they just weren’t for us. We never went back, but we remember a very powerful essay that was given to us that day. I would like to share it on Violet’s 1st Angel Day because EVERYTHING in the article I can directly relate to. The article says EXACTLY how I feel and I’ve saved it and read it many times wondering if this is still how I’ll feel one year later.
“In A Year
By Amber Melendez
In a year I have learned how truly powerless I am, for I would have given my life for my daughter, ‘Violet’. I would have given anything asked of me just to hold her or see her smile or even hear her voice just one more time. But no one gave me that chance.
In a year I have learned that it’s okay to question my faith and to be mad at God. Some people may get upset or try to push their beliefs on me, but I have to remember they are not living my life, I am.
In a year I have learned that life is not fair and no amount of praying will change that fact. I have learned that I can mentally be gone,
exhausted, and worn out from fighting yet somehow I find the strength to get through another day.
In a year I have learned that I can cry a river and yet still have enough tears left over to cry some more tomorrow. I have learned it is possible to live your life, yet be forever stuck in a single moment.
In a year I have learned to hope that there is a heaven and that my daughter is looking down on me from a fluffy cloud, because the alternative is not acceptable. And I have learned to believe that yes, my daughter does come around, even though I can’t see her, because at odd times and moments, I can actually feel her next to me.
In a year, I have learned the kindness of actions, for it was in my darkest hours that a simple gesture meant so much more than a thousand words.
I have learned that I am able to talk about my daughter more and more and it makes me feel better, even if some people are uncomfortable hearing me talk about her.
I have learned that even close friends may be too scared to talk about my child because they think it will cause me pain. What they don’t realize is that I already hurt and talking about her will only help me.
In a year I have learned that the friends I thought I had will never understand and may stop coming around, but I will form new friendships with perfect strangers because they are the only ones who understand my pain.
In a year I have learned that well-meaning people will sometimes says the stupidest things when they are trying to help. I know I have to be patient because they do not understand and probably never will. And, I have to accept that everyone has an opinion on how I should grieve. It may not be my opinion, but they will have one!
I have learned there is no time limit; I will always miss my daughter- today, tomorrow, in a year or five years, or even 30 years down the road. I will still miss her; time will not change that. I have learned that it is okay to grieve no matter how long it’s been. It’s My Grief- no one else’s!
I have learned that I am stronger than I thought I was, and yet I am weaker than I ever was before.
In a year I have learned that my memories won’t fade if I take them out and share them with others. It’s up to me to share the gift that is my child with the world.
I have learned that a terrible monster called Anger lives inside me, and I don’t know what I would do without
him. Anger has now become a very best friend, much like Sadness and Depression.
In a year I have learned that I can get used to visiting a cemetery, and I will even take pride in making my daughter’s grave the best-decorated one around. So that anyone who chances by will know that my child was and always will be loved.
In a year I’ve realized that I may get used to taking my precious child flowers instead of toys or clothes, but it doesn’t stop the hurt or erase the longing for what I should be buying.
In a year I have learned that a sweet smell like her baby lotion or even shampoo- no matter how faint- can make me cry in a single heartbeat.
In a year I have learned that even though I hurt, I am lucky to have known her, been able to hold her and love her. So many people were not that fortunate.
I have learned how to turn away and control myself when I see someone who reminds me of her: a glimpse of a tiny baby dressed in pink, a giggle, or seeing an innocent smile. And, I wonder if the parents of that child realize how very lucky they are. I have learned that I may be envious or even a little jealous, but I always wish that child well and hope that her parents never learn my pain.
I have learned to accept that I will never see my daughter walk, or talk, or call me Mommy. I have learned to accept that I will have no
more pictures: That what I have is it; there are no more coming.
I have learned to accept the fact that in my house, she will never grow old, and I will never know her as a young woman learning about life. I will never watch her fall in love, or get her heart broken. I will never have to let her go as she walks down the aisle, and I will never hold her hand as she struggles to give birth to my grandchild. I will never look at her all grown up and feel pride knowing I gave this world another shining star. So many things I will never have.
In a very long and heartfelt year full of pain and so many, many tears, I have learned that love alone was not enough to keep my daughter by my side.
I have learned that love unfortunately does not conquer death, but it will outlast it. And that even after so much pain, some memories will always make me smile, even though I may cry.
In a year I have learned not to fear death, because only in death will I hold my daughter again.
My Baby Angel, ‘Violet Madison Wehrkamp’, is and was the strongest person I have ever known. She was a fighter who never gave up even when they said she couldn’t win, she did. And even though she had to leave me, she will live forever in my heart and my memories.”
posted by Allison
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