Without fail I feel it building. Slowly piece by piece, inch by inch, beat by beat– it builds.

I tell myself this year will be easier. 

But it builds.

Until I’m standing there doing something normal, monotonous, like putting on my shoes, or folding towels and it can’t build anymore- tears spill one after another, grief pours out of me, and it is all so very unfair.

But here I am.

Mothers shouldn’t have to grieve their babies. But there are so many of us. And we don’t speak of it- the ache at baby showers, the frozen mask we wear when we see small bundles or children who would be the same age…because the lump never goes away. It’s a silent heartache that wails as we stand with a lasting grief that never goes away.

But here we are.

I shouldn’t have to grieve my first daughter. My daughter who was born sleeping. My daughter who I carried, and delivered, and held. She was so beautiful. And looked just like her siblings. She is ours. For years I was so afraid people would forget her. Our loss was so huge, that it just followed me. But then I started worrying about making people uncomfortable, I didn’t want to draw attention. My grief, our grief became more private. But sometimes, it just hits me and I have to be real and raw…We should have her here with us!  Today she would be 11. My Mary would be 11.

She’s not here.

But I am.

Yesterday as my tears came, and my heart physically hurt I whispered some truths to the heavens- and hope that Jesus whispered them in her ear…

My daughter,

I am so blessed to be your Mom. You are in every pink delicate flower. I think of you when the skies are open and vast. I long for you when I hear certain songs, or read beautiful words about being chosen. You are in pennies we find in the most random places, on the hardest days.  You are in my heart when I am so wrapped in prayer that I feel closest to God…in those moments you are still right here with me. I carried you in my womb, our little girl, so very loved. And now I carry you right here…next to my heart. Always. You are a part of me. You are a part of us. Our beautiful daughter. I love you Mary Therese…I cannot wait until we are all together again. I cannot wait to hold you. I love you forever. 

Out of all the little boys and girls in all the world how were Mommy and Daddy so blessed to have a Jonah, a Daniel, a Mary, a Micah, and a Gracie. 

Love, your Mommy. 

11 years later life is good, but it doesn’t go away. I miss her always. I know one thing since I’m still here, I’ll be all here. I’ll be present to her brothers and sister. I will tell them how much I love them. I won’t take a moment for granted.  And I will love better.

Without fail every year I feel it building. Piece by piece…because I carried her. Inch by inch…because she is a part of me.  Beat by beat…because Mothers shouldn’t have to grieve their children. But I do.

And I see you- those who grieve children you’ve lost. I stand here with you. Wombs that lay hollow. I stand by you. Families with empty seats at the table. You are not alone.

And I pray for you. Because I get it. My life is good, but she is missing. My life is hard, but it’s worth living. My life is more beautiful, because I know God.

And He is good. Even when life isn’t.

In the monotonous moments where grief spills, especially on days like today I’m reminded that this is my normal. I grieve Mary. I always will. I’m her Mother.

It is a universal truth of an unshakeable bond.

We give ourselves away…piece by piece.

We carry tightly to us…inch by inch.

We love. Completely. Always.

May 28. I miss my daughter with all my heart. 💗