Grief changes us. The pain sculpts us into someone who… Understands more deeply, Hurts more often, Appreciates more quickly, Cries more easily,Hope more desperately, and Loves more openly.
The changes we experience after the loss of a child do not stop at the parents. Our child’s siblings experience it too. For the last day of this project I thought I needed to show the grief that my children experience as well. They know far to well the pain that losing someone can bring. Just like us they will always feel like something is missing.
For the older boys they miss the smiles from the baby sister and the memories they made. They worry that they will forget her. They strive to include her on school projects and pictures. They share stories with their younger siblings. They fear touching a cold baby hand. The love they share with their younger siblings is far more deep than anyone can ever imagine. They hold these little ones very close. They aren’t afraid to show their friends just how much they love their little brothers and sisters.
When it comes to the little siblings, they often bring up their big sister. Their grief will be different than ours or their older brothers. Their’s will happen when they understand they will never meet their sister on Earth. They already ask about her and when they can see her. They want to visit the cemetery but don’t yet understand why they only see a picture. Some day we will create a shadow box for them and tell them all about her life. For now we keep it simple…she is their sister, we can only see her in pictures, and we can only visit her at the cemetery.
Our little family understands more about love and loss than so many. We hurt more often and cry together. We appreciate the small things, the big things, the silly things, the everyday things. We hope our dreams and prayers are answered so often. We love with all our heart. We hug, we kiss, we hold each other no matter who is watching because we know how hard the storm hurt and we know the hope we found. Together we will get through this and help others along the way.