Dear Eve

I am missing you more than ever.  I thought that time would ease this pain, but it seems like each day is harder than the one before.  Time is passing so slowly.  I long for the future, for healing, for Home.  Most days I feel that Heaven can't come soon enough -- but I bet that when it does, all my years still would not be enough time.

Is that how you felt, too, when death took you?

I hope not.  I hope your passing was peaceful, rocked into Heaven by my body, by angels.  Dying certainly seemed peaceful enough for you.  You never protested, never put up a fight.  Not that I could tell, anyway.  You just slipped quietly away.

I miss you so much.

This week a little boy was born into our lives.  A friend's baby.  We had been pregnant together -- she with this sweet little boy, and me with you.  You and he would have played together.  I wonder if you will be friends in Heaven instead.

He is precious.  I am so glad that he has arrived safely at last.  But he reminds me of you, and that is hard.  Even though the two of you are similar, death made you so different.  Seeing a beautiful, living newborn makes your death horrifying in all new ways.  The way he sneaks his arm from the swaddling, his toothless yawns, the cranky crinkling of his forehead -- these are all things you would have done, had you lived.  But you didn't.  I will never see you move.  Your body was far too still.

It's hard for me to connect your body to the kicks and punches you gave me from within.  You were so strong.  How could someone so strong die so quietly, so soon?

But the baby boy who would have been your growing-up-together friend is not just a source of pain.  He is also a source of hope.  I see him and know that pregnancy works.  That stillbirth is not always the result.  His burbling existence encourages me to keep hoping that one day not too far from now I will hold your squirming, squalling, very-much-alive sibling in my arms, just like I held you.

I will still miss you if that happens.  I will miss you forever.

You are my precious firstborn, my curly-haired daughter, my love.

Sometimes I wonder if you or God send me reminders that your death was not the end of the story.  From time to time I smell the scent of your lilac candle in places where it just should not be, and I wonder.  I want you to be in Heaven, to stay safe in our Father's arms.  But if you can be safely in Heaven and blow me little kisses of lilac-scented love at the same time, I will not complain.

I cannot wait until I hear your voice for the first time, see the expressions of your beautiful face, and dance with you in grateful joy for  our Savior.

Until then, I will wait in hope, trusting the One who brings beauty from our ashes.

And loving you through the hurt.

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