Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Some Firsts Are Harder Than Others

There is something particularly special, and difficult, about this Fall.

Special in that it marks five years that my heart has beat for my sweet little Peyton, loving her as I do even though she is not here. Difficult in that this year should have held such a magical milestone.

Grief is so strange. There are so many firsts we never had with Peyton. No first steps. No first words, or even first tantrums. No first rides on a bike, or first "I love you Mommy," moments, though her heart beating against my chest when I held her told me she did. 

There were so many firsts that should have been with Peyton that at some point in my grief I almost, *almost, became numb to them. I think that's what so-called healing is, your mind and body deciding to either numb-up, or give up.

I posted this photo on Facebook today, with the following message:

In another life on the other side of the loss universe, I gave you a hug and sent you off to Kindergarten this week.

I imagine that had she been born healthy, I would have had so much trepedation and so many nerves about leaving my child in the care of someone else for the first time. The reality is that from the moment of her birth, to the moment of her death, Peyton was always in the care of someone else, down to my inability to even make decisions over when to feed or bathe her. 

If Peyton were here, and healthy, this would be the moment in time for me to watch as my little girl became a big girl, and root her on as she walked off independent of me, into a new experience. Because of the cards we were dealt, that moment came in the pediatric intensive care unit as I urged her to please let go and be free of the pain of this broken world, when she took her last breath in my arms and was finally, finally, pain-free and at peace.

Even five years later, you never get over a moment like that. I imagine that in fifty years, I still won't.

I received so many beautiful messages from friends, but one response to my facebook post by a dear babyloss momma friend especially resonated with me: 

Perhaps in that other life somewhere our little ones enter kindergarten together, holding hands and filling the room with joy.

So tonight I am holding tight to the beauty of that image, to the thought of all of the precious and much loved little ones from this community holding hands as they walk into their first day in kindergarten, and all the while I am hoping that wherever Peyton is, she knows how very, very loved she is by those of us left behind.


  1. Okay let's try this again, since I accidentally pasted one of my Facebook Status updates in here before, deleting what I meant to write... ;)

    As I shared on your Facebook status your refer to here, I so get this, with Molly also having been born and gone 5 year now and if she had lived, she tool would have been starting K this week. I love the idea that in a parallel life our children are together in K filled with joy! Imagining your Peyton and my Molly, along with so many others who left this world too soon, as Heavenmates brings me so much peace and comfort, especially when we encounter these milestones reminding us of what could have been. Thank you for sharing. Sending you lots of peace, love, light, thoughts, prayers and hugs.

    Here's a post I wrote on Sunday night, the eve of when Molly could have started Kindergarten if she hadn't died. I too needed to process the bittersweetness of the feelings I have this week. http://bereavedandblessed.com/2013/08/kindergarten-past-present-future/

  2. Here via Kathy Benson on FB. My heart goes out to you both at this time. I clicked to read about your beautiful daughter and learned about something I never even knew was possible--that an infant could a baby to have cancer. Clearly Peyton will live in forever in the hearts of those who love her. She's lucky to have you.

  3. My heart breaks for you my friend <3

  4. This story is so sad....I just lost my mother and know that I feel more sadness in my life than I ever have before. But I honestly would not know what to do if I lost one of my children or grandchildren. I guess we all have blessings. I got to know my mom and what a courageous person she was. So sorry for you loss

  5. Its 6:30 am and i am in tears reading this. Love to you. I see them so clearly and the image fills me with such love and such longing.

  6. Love to you x
    Here in the UK children start reception in the September after their 4th birthday, so my Florence would be starting school next week in another world. I've only so far given it passing thoughts, but I will be trying hard next week to avoid seeing her shadow babies in their crisp new uniforms and shiney shoes.

  7. Each year, at this time, my heart aches a little. I wonder what Peyton would be like and what she would be doing. Reading your post made my heart tense and eyes tear. If only she was here....My heart goes out to you. Remembering beautiful Peyton and picturing her holding hands with the others as they go off to school.