Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Beginning and End (04/16/09)
TITLE: Looking Forward to the End
By Kellie Henningsen
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I had so many dreams as I looked to the future with our new daughter. My husband had our son to be his little clone. I was now getting a daughter to be like me – the one I would get to dress in pretty clothes, put her hair up in ponytails, and watch her grow into a beautiful woman.
The day she died, my dreams were crushed. A lifetime membership to a club I never knew existed was suddenly thrust upon me. I would now forever be a bereaved mom. This fact alone caused a huge heaviness to sink onto my chest literally making it hard to breathe. I wanted my old life back – I didn’t want to be a representative for those who grieve. At 27 years of age, I felt imprisoned by this new commission.
As the hours turned into days, a beautiful reality emerged amongst all of the pain. A closeness to heaven I had never experienced before enveloped me. My connection to the afterlife was intense; I felt like I could reach out and literally touch heaven. I prayed to God that He would hug my little girl for me, that He would tell her how much I loved her and missed her, how much I wanted her to be with me, how I would have done anything in the world to keep her here. So many times I asked these things. Thoughts of life here on earth became a blur. I didn’t want to stay here. I wanted to be with my daughter –where I belonged! Then with one look at my nineteen month old son, I would realize he was the one who needed me. My daughter did not – not anymore.
I felt compelled to start a grief journal and poured myself onto the pages. In my search for support, I found other grieving moms online and was able to use my journal entries to comfort others and let them know they were not alone in what they were feeling.
In the worst of my grief, I can recall sitting on the floor with the phone in my hand wondering who I could call. I needed to talk and yet no one understood – no one could truly know what it was I needed right then. Years later, I now make myself available to other grieving moms, because sometimes it just takes knowing the other person can relate to you to bring comfort.
Our second daughter was born just ten months after the funeral. The pregnancy was a God given shock! However, my emotions were all over the place, my body was beyond worn out, and the fear of anyone forgetting our first daughter was horrific. We didn’t even tell anyone I was pregnant until 21 weeks. I just couldn’t do it – I couldn’t admit to having “moved on” in this way.
Mercifully, our daughter was born healthy and beautiful! She gave me back so many things I had lost. I now had a daughter to dress in pretty clothes, to put her hair up in ponytails, and to be my mini me. I had a baby to care for, nurse, change diapers, and love. I am so grateful to God for giving her to us at a time we needed her most!
The void of our first daughter will forever remain a part of who I am. To this day, I still have times where I look around in a panic as a feeling someone is missing comes over me. I have to consciously count the number of plates to put on the table. When someone asks how many children I have, I have to stop and think. My kids speak her name many times a day. She is never forgotten.
I look forward to the end of my grief, the end of my need to remember, the end of my being a member of the bereaved moms club, and the beginning of a glorious eternity with my precious daughter who I will miss until that day.
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