The outfit that I packed for him to come home from the hospital in.
The softest blankets that made me smile because they were clearly made for my little boy.
My favourite outfits chosen with love from my mom and sis when they were together in the US just as we found out about Zac's heart.
And the cutest socks and booties - all stuff that made his daddy, mommy and sisters delight at the reality of having a little boy added to our family.
When I look at these pictures, so many emotions flood my heart. Incredible loss of so much love that we wanted to lavish on this treasured little boy, but also joy when I remember how fully we anticipated and prepared for his presence in our family. Brett and I often catch ourselves saying how surreal it all really is. Our little Zac was always meant to be part of our family. We just never imagined that it would be such a short time span here on earth. My heart has found amazing peace knowing that he has not been stolen from me but awaits all of us to love him fully in heaven, but oh the missing while we wait!
At the end of this month it will be 6 months since our last cuddle and the truth for this mommy is that I will never stop missing this sweet treasured boy. He captured each of our hearts so completely. I am thankful for the joy, tenderness and love that the Lord so graciously gives us daily which lessens the sting of death, but the missing will always be a part of my walk. While we are definitely healing and we are stronger, our walk will always be different. I'm ok with that. I don't ever want to be a pretender. Grief hurts and it changes you - but that change isn't always for the worse. The change Zac brought to us was beautiful. He opened our hearts to love even deeper. I'm ok with the fact that I have changed. I certainly never want grief to define my life or love for Zac, but I also do have a different walk now. My eyes see life through different eyes. I anticipate the reality of Heaven in my every day living much more now than ever.
The things that still hurt are funny little things like, I only have a certain number of pictures of this precious son to look through. It is also a bitter sweet experience every time I part with many of the things that we bought or were given for him. Sad to let go, but precious to see someone getting to enjoy the blessings. It's what Zac would want. As I continue to negotiate the pain of loss, over and over the Father reminds me that it is well with my little one! He is growing and thriving and is eagerly learning much about his little family as he cheers us on from that great cloud of witnesses. What a precious thought. Still hurts though.
I write all my thoughts here about my journey through grieving not to make anybody feel sad, or sorry for me, but to share my heart with any other hurting person who may also be negotiating a loss or grief. It also is very much my reality. It is part of my life story. I am a mommy to 2 living little girls and also a little boy who lives now as a heavenly citizen and I miss him, and I also love being able to talk about him. While others don't get to see his reality in our lives, he is very much alive in our hearts and lives. It is important for me to be able to talk about him and share his story. His life is a beautiful story that has shaped us in many ways. Part of this story is sharing how closely Jesus walks us through pain and into joy. I have to be able to share the pain and the joy. They are intermingled. This walk is a long road. In society we don't want people to hurt. We want them to be able to "move on" because we love them and because we don't know what to do with or how to fix their pain. I am learning through my journey that the Lord certainly helps us to move forward, but he doesn't expect us to forget or pretend that it doesn't hurt. He understands the pain of loss and is willing to walk us through it for the long haul. Being allowed to be honest about our good and our bad days enables far more healing. Being honest about the pain of loss is important. Something significant in your life has been forever changed. Making peace with this change is a process. Acknowledging and facing that pain leads to healing.
This is such a jumbled up post of so many different thoughts, but this is just a very real look at what a grieving mommy's heart looks like on certain days. I miss my little boy.
(Zac's first peep at the world)
It's just one of those days. If you are having one too, know that I am saying a prayer for your heart too today. There is One who knows how to hold you through each disappointment or loss you have encountered and He has a word of hope to place in your heart today. Today, for me, that word is that it's ok. Even on one of "those days", it's going to be ok. Knowing that allows me to open up my heart to cry any tears I want to cry and also to laugh at any old silly thing that tickles my heart too! Hope you know that too ... it's going to be ok!
All my love as always xxx