31 March 2018

An anniversary of sorts

I shared this on my Instagram, but wanted to put it here, with my other thoughts and memories about Israel.  

In my heart there is a place where both joy and grief collide - and I've spent the last 8 weeks trying to figure out how to reconcile the two. 

Yesterday marked what would have been our stillborn baby Israel's first birthday, had he lived.

But, if he had lived, Edythe would not.

In the weeks after Israel died I wondered if I would ever not feel the pain. Now, I honestly find it hard to even remember that sorrow that was so immense. 

Until a song plays on the radio that makes me think of Israel. Or I fumble when people ask me how many boys I have, and I have to awkwardly explain that I've had 5, but only have 4. Or when I go through the bins of boy clothes to pull out what will work for Edythe, and realize that the clothes might have been worn once more, but will never be. Or when I'm scrolling through old pictures and see ones of his lifeless body or his tiny casket. 

Israel's death does not consume me or define me, but it definitely is part of me. 

But then there is Edythe, in all her glorious loveliness. Her pregnancy was an emotional battle: everyday that I remained pregnant felt like a victory. Her birth was the answer to countless prayers, and her life is a healing salve to my heart. I wouldn't want to live in a world without her in it. 

And therein lies the struggle - how do I wish that Israel had lived while being so joyful that Edythe does? I love them both with all my heart, knowing that I could never have held them both. 

So, today I will put aside the confusion and instead hold a space in my heart for both Israel and Edythe, as that's the only place they can both exist, where I can love them both the same, with everything I have in me. 


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