by JD Richardson
This is a letter to my dearly departed daughter Samantha. I am giving myself the permission to grieve for her loss:
It has almost been three years since the day we lost you, and still, not a day goes by without a thought of you, a wish that you were here, with me, on earth. I never stop wondering what you would have been like, what you would have looked like. I know your brothers would have loved you...
To ease the pain, I've created a vision of you in my mind. To me, you are an angel, in heaven, looking out for me, and looking out for our family. I think of you as being the one who sent Jillian to me, because you knew that despite my silent grieving, I missed you so much. The way I see it, you understand my thoughts and my feelings, even when I don't let anyone know how I feel. I hold a silent conversation with you when I'm sad, lonely, or when I need a friend to talk to. I share with you when I'm happy. You are the perfect friend. You understand my deepest, darkest secrets, and you are always there. You are in the teddy bear that I hold tight when I feel like crying, you are in the sunset I glance at when I look out my window, thanking God for another day here on earth.
Jillian will be dedicated at our church the day before our third year anniversary of the day you became our angel. I chose this date so that I could have something to look forward to at that time. I knew that I would be struggling with my emotions. I also knew that you'd be there with Jillian that day, guiding the way. I will tell her, someday, of her special angel. I bought her a special baby ring this week. It's a gold ring, too small for her finger, with a tiny birthstone, your birthstone. It was the ring I never had a chance to give to you. My hands tremble when I hold it. The emotions are still raw, after three long years. I will give it to her on the day she is dedicated in our church. And someday, when she is older, she will understand the meaning of that ring. The more I think about it, the more I would like the same ring that I bought her as a reminder of you.
I know you would have loved to be Jillian's sister. She's such a blessing to us. She's so much like me. She's a fighter. I thought of you when I was pregnant with her, when I was scared of losing her. I knew you would take care of another one of my angels when I lost her twin. I thought of you when I was pregnant and so sick and when I thought that I couldn't go on any longer. I held on because I knew that God had blessed me with a second chance at having a girl, a second chance at having you and I was willing to do anything to hold this new baby in my arms. I knew that Jillian would never replace you, but I had hoped that she would help ease the pain and fill the empty space in my heart.
As I grow to love Jillian more and more, I think of you every waking moment. I am beginning to realize that I've been holding on to you, not willing to grieve, not willing to let you go. Maybe you sent me Jillian so that I could set you free. Free from the hold that I have on you. I wanted you all to myself. No one else seemed to understand the pain I felt when I lost you, so I've kept you all to myself, never allowing myself to grieve, keeping you locked up in my heart. Jillian has taught me that this is not something that I can do forever. Letting you go will not mean loving you less, letting you go will mean being able to forgive, and to grow in a more positive way. If I do not let my walls break down, and finally let myself grieve for you, I will always be unable to speak freely about you, to give you a life of your own.
I realize that even though I feel like crying sometimes, it is not a sign of weakness, but still, I find myself unable to do so. Just the thought of breaking down the walls I put up after I lost you, makes me want to run in the opposite direction. I am scared. I am scared that if I heal from the pain of losing you, you will feel as though I've forgotten you. I will feel like I've betrayed you somehow. In some ways, I am scared that you will feel as though you don't mean as much to me anymore.
I need you to tell me that you will understand if I let you go, that you will always be there if I need you. I need to know that no matter where I am, that you will always feel the love I have for you. I need for you to tell me that it's okay to cry, and that it's okay if finally having a daughter has eased the pain of losing you. I need to know, once more, that you know how much I'll always love you, that I will never forget you, and that no matter what, I will always be your mother. And, as I write this, I can feel you in my heart. I know what your answers are.
So go, fly with the angels -- I'll be brave. That's my promise to you.
Copyright © JD Richardson. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.