In my house, in various jewelry boxes, in one white memory box with butterflies and dragonflies are some pretty priceless treasures.
Because when I lost her, I lost a huge part of myself. The part where I could function and process grief like a "normal" person. I went into massive denial, got pregnant a few months later and ended up delivering a healthy baby girl at 35 weeks. Time to move on, right? Well, it wasn't a co-incidence that said baby girl had her big sister's birthday.
I struggled with that, and more than two years after she was gone, she was finally named. Riley Grace. Riley, because I was being trendy at the time. And Grace, because...oh, she was my saving grace. Is my saving grace. If she hadn't touched my life...if I hadn't had to say goodbye before I even got a chance to say hello...I would have continued on the path of destruction I was on.
I may have never found my way back to Christ. I would never have stopped to look at people on the street. I mean, really LOOK at them. The single Mom with three kids? I would probably have thought some horribly judgmental thing. The lady at the cemetery, crying? Well, I might have thought, "Good Lord, get over it."
But, ya'll know what? One day, that lady at the cemetery was ME. And there is no getting over it.
For a life that so briefly touched mine, she CHANGED it. Completely. So...why her name?
Because, right now, it's what I have.
Because, when I look at her name, written anywhere, I can say. SHE WAS HERE. THIS IS HER NAME. SHE IS IMPORTANT. SHE MATTERS. SHE MATTERS. SHE MATTERS.
This morning, a fellow babyloss Mom sent me a sweet message. And in it, was a picture of a balloon.
Grief tends to either a) cause you to alienate others/cause them to alienate you or b) strengthen a bond/forge one.
I've met so many amazing people. People have reached out to me. I've reached out to people that before my loss, I would never approach, either because I wouldn't know what to say, or because of my judgmental nature.
So, this is why it matters. This is why her name matters. So, please, if you happen to see me in passing, or you want to say something to me. Don't be afraid. Speak her name. It matters.