My Sweet Harper,
I can't believe that we have been without you for so long now. It has been almost a whole year but it doesn't feel that way in my heart. I still feel you all around me and I see you in so many places. I look at your pictures and still marvel at your small, beautiful features -- all of the little features that make you unique and make you ours. You will always be ours, our Harper Grace. I love you and I miss you for always.
As the eleven month mark comes to pass it is so hard to believe that we have spent almost an entire year without our first born here with us. I remember last July, I was living in a fog, not sure if I would ever smile or laugh again. I was seriously wondering if I would even make it through the first month...and now, it has been eleven. One month from a year. It is so hard to believe and I still have a hard time wrapping my head around it most days. She lived and then she died just as quickly as she came. It still sucks, I still grieve, I still get hung up on the "what ifs", and I still miss her with all of me.
This past month has been hard knowing that we are getting so close to her birthday. I want to be ready for it but I don't know if I am. I am not ready for this year of "firsts" to be over. I am not ready for the supposed "closure". I have not lived the year that I had envisioned at this time last year and it hurts. I wonder if people will expect me to be "better" or "OK" once her first year has passed. There is a part of me wants my heart to heal by the deadline of June 25th because the hurt hurts so much sometimes...but I know that it won't. It will never fully heal and that is alright. Sure, I am happy and hopeful most days but there is still a part of me that aches inside and knows that I always will, I think I would be abnormal if I didn't. She was and always will be a part of me.
I think grief forces growth and I know that Harper has taught me a lot in the last eleven months. I have loved more fiercely and have come to see the world in a more beautiful way. I have learned that life is short, so much shorter than I could have ever imagined. There an no guarantees in this life so we must live and love while we can. I have learned that the love for a child knows no boundaries. I know that her spirit is all around me and when it is time, she will be waiting for me but for now, I must live. I know that is what she would want.
I borrowed this poem from Melissa's blog and I think it is a perfect way to sum up the last eleven months.
You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all she's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
or you can cherish your memory, and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what she'd want,
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.