As you all know from reading my blog, most of my entries are from my journal and not exactly current. I've had some people emailing me asking me how I am currently doing, right now, after 2 months without my baby girl. In response to those questions and concerns, I thought I'd do an update as of today. I am trying to get up to date so I'm going to start doing two or three posts a day until I catch up with my journal. So when you read make sure to keep scrolling down just in case there are several new posts!
Datewise, today is 2 months since Hailey passed away. To be totally honest, I didn't even realize it until a few people emailed and texted me worried about how my day was going and it finally dawned on me that today was the 11th. I have to say though, that I am so grateful that they were concerned and thinking of us.
All in all I would say that we are doing very well considering it's only been 2 months. I definitely have my good moments and bad moments, some great and some so hard I feel like I can't go on. In some ways I feel like it's getting harder as time goes on. I see life going on around us, not only the lives of others, but our life too. I know it's inevitable and totally necessary, however it's also very difficult. With Halloween and the holidays coming up I find myself missing Hailey even more and more, which I never thought possible. Every day that goes by is one more day longer than I last held her, if that makes sense. But, it's also one more day closer to when I get to see her and hold her again! The holidays are always more fun with children, especially when they're old enough to understand them and get excited about them. Last year was the first year that Hailey was finally starting to really enjoy the holidays! I remember so clearly that she refused to get out of her Halloween costume. She would tantrum like crazy when I would try to take it off...check out the picture below, it wasn't one of those costumes I could just let her wear out, otherwise I would have had no problem with her leaving it on! Anyways, this is one of the things that I am really going to miss. Not to mention, I just realized the other day that I'll never have a picture of all 3 of my girls together in their Halloween costumes (Ava was still cooking last Halloween!).
Hailey in her costume!
(Auntie Kim picked it out!)
Here are some photos from last Halloween:
Hailey in her costume!
(Auntie Kim picked it out!)
Although these next few months are going to be very difficult, I take a lot of comfort in my other children. Little do they know the important job they have right now of keeping their mommy sane! However, one of the best pieces of advice I have received throughout this entire experience came from a dear friend who lost a sibling. Although she was an adult at the time, she told me how her mother had completely shut down after her brother's death. Her mother wouldn't come out of her room for days, talk about him or celebrate holidays. She also still won't take a family picture even though its been 5 years. This made it very difficult on my friend to deal with her brother's passing. Even as an adult, she still needed her mother to be there for her, but unfortunately that didn't happen. Although everyone deals with grief differently and it's not necessarily her mother's fault that she's had such a difficult time with her son's passing, it still affects my friend a lot. So she asked me to please try not to do that to my children. She asked me not to take away the joys of their childhood such as holidays, family times, pictures, experiences, etc. because Hailey isn't physically here with us. That conversation has had a very profound effect on me and the way I've dealt with Hailey's passing. Honestly, I would have probably thought I should have been sad around Lexi as much as possible so she would know how much I miss Hailey, but I now see that in a completely different light. It's not my children's fault that Hailey passed away, nor is it my fault, therefore, I owe it to them, my family, and Hailey to continue living and celebrating. Although we are still going to miss her dearly during every holiday and family event, I KNOW that she is literally here with us, celebrating and watching. How would she feel to see us sad and miserable over her? I am making it my mission to keep as much normalcy in the girls' lives as possible. I made sure that Lexi's first day of school was all it should have been. And I will make sure to enjoy Halloween with them and Thanksgiving and Christmas, and so on.
Prior to Hailey passing away I remember always thinking of how sad it was for people who have died, that they would miss out on all their family's big events, such as births, graduations, weddings, etc. Now, knowing what I know, through my faith, that is NOT the case. Hailey IS here. All of our loved ones who have passed on before us are literally here, spiritually, watching, listening and celebrating with us at EVERY major event and even many of the minor day to day ones. After reading the book, The Message, that I mentioned before, I KNOW that Hailey is here with us all the time! I feel her, I hear her, I see all the signs that she sends us!!! When I see her again she'll already know about all the special times we spent together as a family because she was there just as we all were.
On a more religious, spiritual note, Hailey's passing has really made my faith and our Savior, Jesus Christ REAL. I always believed it and in Him, but now I KNOW more than anything that He is real. Easter, especially, will have an even more profound meaning for me this year. This is because of the fact that our Savior died and rose from the dead, which means that my daughter will rise again as well! Because He now lives, my daughter also now lives. What in the world would I do without this knowledge? Where in the world would I be? Because of Him, I have HOPE! It is such a beautiful thing!
For those of you who were at church with me today, you have already heard me say this, but I wanted to say it again for those who weren't. I cannot even begin to thank all of you who have served us either physically, through a prayer, a note, a comment on my blog, a thought, a small show of support, or whatever it may be. You have acted on our Savior's behalf and therefore, I pray that you will be personally blessed for that. Unfortunately, He cannot be here physically to hug me or talk to me aloud when I need it, which is where you all come in. Your service, no matter how big or small, is His service. One of my favorite scriptures ever is: Matthew 25: 40 - "...Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." I have never seen this so literally as in the past 2 months. What an honor it is for me (and my family) to receive your individual acts of service, love, and support. You have worked miracles in my life and I know Hailey is aware of all you've done for her family. Our Savior relies on people like you to help Him do His work here on the Earth and I have to say that you're all doing a great job, at least for me!
With all this being said, I want you all to know that we are doing okay. We are hanging in there and taking it one day at a time. Sometimes I miss Hailey so much I feel like my heart is going to burst into a million pieces. I feel like my body is going shrivel up from the loss of so many tears. I feel like I want to curl up into a ball and never get up again. Yet, it's in those times that my Savior comforts me and sends one of you my way with a note, call, prayer, or visit to Hailey's place. The poem, Footprints in the Sand, has always been one of my favorites. Now I know why. My faith has seen me through and become stronger than ever. For this I am eternally grateful. I saw the best quote the other day at a friend's house. It said, "Today's test is tomorrow's testimony." Wow! I plan to make that so true in my life.
P.S. Two last things:
1. Thank you so much to those of you who visit "Hailey's Place." You have no idea the joy it brings when I go there and see a little memento left from someone who took the time to go visit my baby girl!!!
(All decked out for Halloween!)
(All decked out for Halloween!)
Sorry the picture isn't the best but it was taken with a cell phone. Anyways, there are things from so many different visitors: a flag, flowers, pinwheels, notes, a scarecrow, pumpkin, little sign that says "Happy Haunting" (That was from me...I'm sorry, but I thought it was funny!), and a plate with some Lay's potato chips, apple juice, and bubbles from a little celebration that Hailey's nursery at church had for her today!
2. I currently post all comments you write to me, however if you would prefer me not to publish something you write please just let me know in your comment. Also, please feel free to include your personal email address (I won't publish it!) if you'd like me to respond back to you. Thanks!!!
With so much love and gratitude,