Happy First Birthday in Heaven

I wish I could explain to you the intensity of the “firsts” that we have experienced over the past seven months.  I remember Caleb’s birthday, just a month after the accident.  I was in a dark overwhelming fog that affected every aspect of my thoughts.  Micah’s party, just three weeks later, found me sobbing at Rebekah’s grave as soon as I could get there.

Even the little every day firsts have been hurdles.  My aspiring little cook had learned to make pancakes and was very proud she could prepare them on her own.  It was five months before we ate pancakes again.  Our mother/daughter hair appointments with ice cream after was something we both looked forward to.  My sister came with me to a completely new hairdresser.  I can’t go back to the old one.  I hope she understands.

Grief is not only sadness.  Its a longing and a hurting and a heaviness that wraps itself around you and squeezes til you feel you can’t breathe.  The crazy part is that you are still breathing.  You are forced to continue on while wondering why you haven’t died from the shear weight of it all.

I also wish that this post could be a tribute to my wonderful daughter in honor of her birthday, and while everyone was encouraging me to celebrate her life, i couldn’t this year.  I could only mourn the fact that she was never going to turn nine.

When you lose a young life you not only mourn the life that was, but all the life that should’ve been.

She should’ve been dancing around the house telling me how she wanted to decorate and who to invite.  I should’ve been sitting on her bed in the middle of her stuffed animals while she tried on outfits for her “best day ever”.  We should’ve been curling her hair and painting her nails.

I should not have been sobbing.

Her birthday, two weeks ago, was one of the hardest firsts we’ve been through.  It was as if we were right back to that first month, suffocating under a pain worse than either of us had ever imagined.

I’ve been told that in order to heal we need to go through the pain and experience these firsts in their natural intensity.  There is no way around them.  If we try to avoid them, they will continue to come back to us in the same unbearable way.

Of course, I did pull myself together and we had a day in honor of her.  We made her favorite foods-taco dip for lunch and cream cheese chicken and rice for supper.  We replaced the worn out winter decorations around her grave with colorful silk flowers.  I planted daffodils in a pot to bring out to her if it ever stops snowing.  Two friends put up beautiful spring wreaths.  Rebekah would like it.  I can almost feel her smiling when I look at it.

Each of us had chosen a balloon which we held tightly until time to release.  Micah was sure his was going to make it all the way to heaven.  I think mine got caught in a tree.  We were alone in the cemetery with the sun shining down on us and deer lingering just at the edge of the nearby trees.  It was ok because we were all together.

As the six of us stood there, looking up at the sky and watching the balloons slowly shrink into tiny dots and then disappear, a bald eagle soared into view.  It circled high above our heads, flapped its wings once and continued on its journey.  We exclaimed and pointed and that bird probably thought no way was he sticking around with all the ruckus those boys were making, but God had made His point.

 They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31

Happy Birthday in Heaven Rebekah Lynn.  We love you!

wings as eagles

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4 thoughts on “Happy First Birthday in Heaven”

  1. It has taken me a while to respond, because once again I am left without words. SO sorry for your intense pain. But thankful you are aware of the messages that God is sending to you. Hugs to all….

    1. Thank you for listening to my heart. God is good, isn’t He? Even when circumstances cause us to forget.

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lessons from home
Hello! I'm Heather and this is Baby Joel, the youngest of five. At Lessons from Home you will find encouragement for your parenting and homeschooling journey. Healing from loss is also a major part of this blog as my family struggles through grief and brokenness at the loss of my beautiful 8 year old daughter.
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