It's been 4 years and it's still tough. I think about her often and I rarely say her name out loud. When I do, I feel the tears start to fill my eyes. But I love seeing pictures of her and I find that it's a bit easier to write my thoughts and feelings. I published the post below last year on this day. The words I wrote then are as true today as they were then....
I can't let today go by without talking about her. I've been debated
posting this, for several reasons, but I find there's a bit of relief
that comes with exposing hidden words and feelings.
don't want today to define her. I think that one of the saddest parts
about death is that ultimately that person is defined by the day they
left us. There's no doubt that July 16, 2010 was one of the most
traumatic days of my life. Who expects a seemingly healthy 9 year old
girl to be diagnosed with leukemia and pass away less than 10 months
later? Lauren's illness affected everyone. Nobody really knew what to
do, so we all did the best we could. Looking back, those months were a
blur of sadness, anger, frustration, relief, happiness, and guilt. And
after Lauren's death, all the negative feelings were intensified to the
highest degree. There were days I seriously questioned my faith and if
my marriage (that had just begun) would remain intact.
feelings still remain and resurface from time to time but they don't
hurt as much. Her artwork and picture remain in my office and don't
bring the unbearable tears they used to but instead give little flickers
of joy. I found that in the middle of the the worst days over the last
three years, my faith grew and my marriage was strengthened. The less I
doubted and questioned God, the more more peace I had. And the more
peace I had, the easier it was to see God's plan taking shape. I'm still
in awe that amazingly wonderful things can emerge out of something so
awful. Is it really a coincidence that Emily was born 2 years and 4
days after Lauren's death?
Today does not and will
never define my niece, Lauren. She will forever be the little girl that I
loved playing Barbies with and swimming with in her pool. She is still
the little girl I was just getting to know as I was becoming part of a
new family. Although my time as Aunt Megan was way too short, the
memories we made and the things she taught me will stay with me
forever. Her life moves me to appreciate every day I have with those I
love, to show compassion to all I meet (not knowing what they are going
through or loss they have suffered), to serve others, to love and trust
God, and to give endless hugs to and thanks for my own little girl. And
one day, sweet Lauren, we'll play together again in heaven.