Monday, October 6, 2008

So Many Losses

On Sunday I was driving in the car to my GriefShare class. I was all alone, thinking and missing my girls.

Their due date is right around the corner and I often ponder how life would be different if we were still expecting them any day. I recalled that when I was pregnant with them I constantly imagined what the day of their birth might be like. I hoped and prayed for a natural, medication-free birth just like I had with my son and I was looking forward to surprising all the doctors when I gave birth to twins without an epidural.

I imagined Kirk's face as he saw his little daughters come into the world. He was in Iraq when our son was born so Aubrey and Ellie's birth was going to be a first for him.

But mostly I imagined that special moment when we would take our first family picture. I wanted one of those priceless once in a lifetime photographs of Aubrey and Ellie in my arms and our son in my husbands' arms, looking delirious with exhaustion and joy, marveling at our perfectly beautiful family. It didn't even matter to me if I looked terrible from hours of labor, I had my heart set on that picture. I prayed for that picture and thanked God in advance for that miracle moment.

But it would never be.

As I drove I started to cry. It hit me that I was grieving the loss of that moment. I was and still am grieving the loss of that once in a lifetime photograph, that picture of my wonderfully blessed life.

Losing my girls has truly cost me so much.

As the loss of my daughters continues to sink in, I feel new losses all the time. I didn't only lose them, I lost every memory that never came to be. And I grieve the loss of the memories I'll never have.

Just when I think I might be coping a little better a flood of new grief comes over me as I am hit with the magnitude of Aubrey and Ellie's deaths. Just the other day my mom showed me two darling overcoats she bought for my sister's two small daughters. They were pink with white fur around the collar and the sleeves. When I saw the coats my heart got so sad because they were exactly what I wanted to dress my girls in. I had dreams of dressing them in matching coats with white tights and black Mary Jane shoes. I have to grieve the loss of ever dressing them up as I hoped.

Before Aubrey and Ellie were put in their casket I was asked if I wanted to dress them in something to be buried in. I said that I didn't because I didn't have anything for them. That they were so small the only clothes that would have fit them were doll clothes. But in reality I didn't want to dress them because I was too scared to see them again. To this day I regret that decision. I am grieving the loss of that opportunity. I should have dressed my babies. I should have looked at them and touched them and dressed them and put little hats on them and wrapped them in a blanket and held them and kissed them one last time before I put them in their casket to be buried. But I was scared. I was so devastated with grief that I didn't have it in me at that moment to say yes. I will always regret not saying yes.

But I know Aubrey and Ellie forgive me.

The hard part is forgiving myself. And letting go of what will never be.

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