While I know that nothing will ever replace the loss of my daughter and I will never stop wondering, “what if”, as I have worked through my grief I have learned there is a silver lining in her life and in her loss.
Through her, I have felt support and love, more so than ever before. After the loss of a child, for myself anyway, I had never felt more alone. The first few days and weeks after I got home from the hospital, I was constantly surrounded by loved ones. But yet in my grief, I still felt alone because no one quite understands and no one ever has the right words to fill the silence in the room. But, like clockwork, the days fade, and time goes on, people go back to their lives…except you. You are left alone with your thoughts, your tears, your grief.
Days turn to weeks and weeks to months, but here soon, it’ll be two years since I lost my sweet Quinn. I can tell you in the midst of all the unexpected things grief brings, what I wasn’t expecting was the continual outpouring of love and support by the people around me. As the time has gone on, even now, they make sure she is remembered. They make sure I feel their love. I don’t always have the right words to thank them, but losing my daughter has shown me the character of the people in my life, has reinforced that I am not alone and has made me so thankful for the support system that is stronger than I ever even initially gave it credit for.
As I write this, the Christmas holiday is quickly approaching and we will soon welcome a new year. I will undoubtedly feel an emptiness yearning for my daughter to be with me, to build family traditions, to see her bright face on Christmas morning. But that is not my reality. I still have so much to be thankful for though- so many people to be grateful for. They are my silver lining. They are my bright light in the darkness. In tragedy, I truly believe to survive, you need to look for the sunshine. You need to find happiness again. You need to find the bright spots and hold on tight to them.
While I may not always have the right words to verbalize my gratitude for my support system, their love is felt and their love has been the driving force to get me through on days I didn’t even want to get out of bed. While time has passed, Quinn’s memory lives on and not just because of me, but because of them too. Her memory is the best gift they could ever give me.
So, especially during the holiday season, look for your silver lining, look for your bright spots because I can promise you, they’re there.