You were supposed to be our rainbow.
We had passed the stages of our previous losses, you were really coming. This was really happening, we were on the home stretch. We were on the countdown...two. Two. I've never wiped the chalk from the board. Two days.
Two days until you were supposed to be here and you were gone. Our precious, longed for, wanted, loved, baby girl had died.
It's hard to remember the very first days and weeks after we lost you. Not because I can't, but because even remembering that depth of darkness is difficult. It's hard to look back to the days where I could do nothing. The days when the darkness was all I could see. The days when I could barely breathe. The days when the grief that felt so much like fear was all I could feel. It's still dark sometimes. It's dark but we can breathe.
So where are we now? We're juggling. Juggling the pain of losing you. Juggling learning to live without you. Juggling the guilt. Juggling the hope.
Your little brother is set to arrive 5 days after your first birthday. I can't call him my rainbow. You were my rainbow. I can't feel the same excitement for his arrival as I did for yours. I'm too scared to do that. But I love him. I love him, as I love your big sister, and as I love you.
I want you to know you will always be a part of our lives. You have changed us all irrevocably. We will always love you and we speak your name every day.
I’m so grateful to have known you. Those who don't know may question how I can have known you, but I did. I do. I am so grateful for all the gifts you have given me - new friends I feel I've know forever, a gratitude for what I have and a desire to do more and be more. But I wish every day that we never had to say goodbye to you. I still question why and have so many 'what ifs', I wonder if that will ever pass.
Right where I am is a difficult place. I hope and pray every day that you know that we still love you beyond words. I hope you know that you will always be ours and we will always be yours. Death cannot change that. Life cannot change that.
You are etched into my heart and soul, Grace Elizabeth. I love you, I miss you.