Today I had a grief attack. Sarah and I were taking the ornaments off the Christmas tree, and she was dancing and singing and asking me to tell her the story of each one. We have quite a few for Abigail, many of them given to me as gifts, for which I am very greatful. And so those really affected me.
But even more so were the ones made by Nathan during the past few years. They are so precious, carefully dated so I can remember when he made them. I guess that little pile of his ornaments really hit me, maybe because I'll never have that pile of ornaments from Abigail.
And so I started to cry. And Sarah asked me, "What's happening to you, mommy?" And so I told her that I was sad because I was missing Abigail. She climbed into my lap and gave me the biggest hug. I told her I am so glad to have her here, that I love her so much, but that I wish I had Abigail here, too.
And she jumped down and said, "I'll go get Abigail's necklace" and she brought over the locket I wear with Abigail's pictures in it. And she told me to give her a kiss, because she always does that. And then she asked, "when I was born, did you think I was going to die?" And I explained to her that no we didn't and we are so glad she didn't die.
Then she picked up her play stethoscope and said she wanted to take that with her to heaven to take care of Abigail because she's sick. And so, again starting to cry, I told her that "Abigail isn't sick anymore. God made her well in heaven." And she smiled really big and said, "then we'll go be with her again in heaven someday."
Yes, we will, Sarah. Yes we will.
Well, by then the dam had broken and my sweet little girl let me hold her while I sobbed. And she, trying to make me feel better, pointed at a picture of Abigail with her little doggie and said, "if we still had that doggie, we'd remember her." And I told her we did have it and I went to get it out.
I have a lot of things of Abigail's - some from her life and many in her memory. And some are on display, but many are packed away - not permanently, but out of the way and protected. So we got out the doggie, and some other animals. And she came across the hand and foot castings we made but never finished. As I showed them to her to see how small her hands and feet were, she asked, "you cut off her hands?!?"
I started to laugh as I tried to explain about how castings are made. I don't think she totally got it, but close enough.
And as I put the things back, I realized all that is in there, and also all the emotion that is in me. I don't need to look at those things every day, just as I don't have to feel all the emotion every day. But sometimes it just needs to be let out and felt, and that is good.
And, as kids do, she was bopping around looking at everything in our room. "Who is that baby? Is that Abigail?" No, that's Nathan. That's Nathan, too. "Where are the pictures of me?" These are of you. Do you want to look at your scrapbook of when you were born?
So we got out her scrapbook and looked at it. And we talked about what she was like as a baby. It has been hard for me to even go back to look at Nathan's and Sarah's baby pictures. It's strange, but it's painful for me, as if it were someone else's joy in contrast to my pain. So this time of enjoying her book with her was healing for me.
So now, the grief attack is over. The emotions are packed away, like many of her things. Not because I don't want them out but because it's where they should be right now. And I'll get them back out again when the time is right.