{Illuminate} Week 1

The following is a homework assignment from a project class I enrolled in: Illuminate – Lighting the Path to Photographic Healing. This is week 1: writing a letter to my baby, and posting self-portraits to share my story.
Dear Harlynn,
It’s coming up on three months since we had to say goodbye to you. Three months since the doctor said, “I’m so sorry…”  Three months since our lives entered the realm of the unthinkable. 
There have been days where I feel peace about where you are, what you’re doing, and I can honestly say I rejoice for you. But there are dark days, Harlynn. Days where I don’t understand how I’m expected to find a way out. Days where I’m completely overcome by how much I miss you. My arms ache to hold you. My chest aches to have you near. My heart pounds at its walls, begging to be relieved of having to sustain me. 
Most people don’t understand. Most people don’t want to. I certainly wish I didn’t have to. This is a pain that hurts like no other. And it never. goes. away.
I question God. I question why He didn’t change this. I question why he allowed your heart to stop. I question why the prayer I prayed – to be spared this pain – went unanswered. I get mad. I get confused.  I don’t understand why the rest of this world still has to endure suffering. I question how He could deem I would ever be strong enough to endure this. A quiet voice, His voice, tells me I don’t have to be strong enough. He has and will continue to carry me through. But I still get mad. I still remind Him He could have kept you alive. I still cry for the moments that will never be. 
The other day I was driving behind a Napa Auto Parts pickup. Its brake lights were on continuously. I thought it was funny, a store specializing in ensuring the proper operation of vehicles, was driving one that was defective.  I think I sometimes feel like that. I’m somehow expected to keep going, keep rolling forward, but all I want to do is stop. Put on the brakes. The rest of the world may think I have stopped…but for their sake, for their expectations, I’ve somehow found a way to function. Found a way to move. Found a way to get up every day despite my total brokenness. 
Yesterday I started crying – out of nowhere, the tears welled up and I cried at the dinner table. Your daddy asked, “What triggered this?”  The fact that our daughter died. The fact that she’s in the cemetery instead of our home. The fact that I don’t know what else to do, what else I can do, besides cry.
I don’t want you to see me sad. I do pray you occasionally get a window from Heaven to peek in on us, though. And for those moments, I want you to see us as a loving family. A family who shares together. Who laughs together. Who can be happy we knew you at all, and hold on to your life in every possible memorializing fashion. I want you to see us as the family you’ll be excited to one day meet, and never be separated from. 
I’m going to try to do some good in this world. I’m going to try to be a mommy you and your sister will be proud of. I’m going to try to help other hearts that hurt like mine. I’m going to try to keep your life flame flickering in a special way. I’m going to try to be your mommy in every way I still can.
There will never be another Harlynn. There will never be another you. I’m so honored I got to be the one to carry you while you were here. I love you, sweet baby girl. I miss you. I hurt for not having you here with us.
Love for eternity,
Your Mommy

2 Replies to “{Illuminate} Week 1”

  1. P.S. Harlynn … Thank you and your mom for allowing us to read about your family. It helps us understand better. Godspeed

  2. As your mother and Harlynn's grandmother, there is no other loss I have felt that is greater than this. I pray God gives you grace, mercy and comfort to work through this and to help me as well. I love you and Harlynn so much, Haley and Brent too.
    I think a lot on Psalm 139 these days, verse 16: Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.

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