At 4:42 pm today will be exactly 2 years since our Mazie girl went to be with Jesus. Just the other day, Adam and I both agreed that none of this still seems real, like an awful nightmare. Some days it feels like it's been longer. Others, it seems so vivid like it just happened. The physical, emotional and mental toll of child loss trauma affects you in the most extreme ways.
2 years in and it hurts even more.
The first several months we remained in a state of shock, as if we were having an outer body experience daily. Then it was a combination of numbness and desperately seeking healing. Now the painful reality of Mazie being gone has very much saturated every part of us. We are reminded of that whenever see a little girl around her age. We were reminded of that on her 3rd birthday. We were reminded of that at the beginning of the school year, when she would have went to preschool. We are reminded of that seeing other 3 year olds participating in activities she may be this time of year.
We always wonder what Mazie would be into right now and what she would look like. We could see her possibly playing soccer or in tumbling then t-ball in the spring. Her pretty, silky light brown hair may still be curly and down her back. Would she be a tom boy and athletic like her brothers? Or would she want to play dress up and with dolls? We can watch an episode of T.O.T.S. and not think of her and Gabby loves it too! We grieve all of the "what should be moments", the milestones and her future.
As we unpacked some of our containers not long ago, we came across ones with clothes of hers. That made us smile and cry at the same time. We weren't prepared to see the one filled with things from the hospital like toys and the blanket she was wrapped in. I couldn't help but bury my face in it and smell it. How I wish her scent still lingered but when I close my eyes I can smell her, feel her and see her so clearly. Thank you God for our strong senses.
A little bit about our progress and healing through year 2:
I have to start with Adam. I am so SO proud of him. I know Mazie is too! He boldy stepped up to offer to co-lead a support group for bereaved dads. They held their first one last month through the RecYOU Group. I know many men, whether they have lost a child or not, will continue to be inspired by his faith and vulnerability to speak out on their own grief. It has been such a blessing to witness his growth and heart soften over the last 2 years. Adam is an incredible and devoted husband and father!
ULL football game - Fall 2019
Latson (11) and Myles (7) amaze us every day with how well they're doing. We see the fruits of our healing in them, which is so fulfilling! They are both totally different with their emotions, ways of processing and even their interests. There is no 1 approach to parenting them and we have leaned on God completely for Him to guide us in doing so. In fact, we just wrapped up a group study on Parenting From the Tree of Life and cannot recommend it enough! They have both thrived through their own methods of healing. We are dedicated to honor what they need in each area of their own lives, including academically. Latson is homeschooling and recently made straight A's during the first 9 weeks. And so did Myles! He is at the same elementary school, that he LOVES, and is supported entirely.
Pumpkin patch - Fall 2019
And me. If you have read any of the previous blogs, you know that I wouldn't be standing today if weren't for God's abundant grace and strength. That is true for all of us! A friend once said how helpful it is to find a place for your love to go. One of my processing tools is to document and express my love for Mazie and what our grief looks like. Whether it's journaling or blogging, it is an intentional place for my love for Mazie to go. We all enjoy talking about our children and I will never stop sharing about our sweet girl.
There are numerous layers of child loss and grief that we are still discovering and peeling back. One thing for certain is that for bereaved parents we never want our children to be forgotten. It does not make us sad at all when you bring up Mazie. In fact, it's the opposite of her not being acknowledged and feeling like others around us (especially those closest to us) have moved on. Please continue to honor her and say her name.
Our beautiful Mazie Leah,
It's hard to believe that 2 years ago today you went to be with Jesus. To so many of us, none of this seems real. Nothing will ever be the same or complete without you baby girl. You left a forever imprint and impact on all of us. With your big, sparkling hazel eyes, light brown soft and curly hair and velvet skin, you are truly the most beautiful girl. Mommy, daddy, Latson and Myles (and those who are blessed to know you) miss you so very much. You are with us in everything we do, our bright shining light. We promise to share all about you to little sis Gabby and to keep honoring your precious life every day. We will never move on. Keep giving us signs to let us know you're near. We love you Mazie girl, to Heaven and back.
Jesus, give our angel the biggest hug for us.