By: Sabrina Ivy
There’s a little girl dancing through my daydreams. She has long brown hair and a soft yellow dress. If I listen closely I can almost hear her giggling. I try to envision her features, but I can never see her face. Would she look like her sister or brother? Would she have deep brown eyes or hazel or maybe even blue? I wonder what her personality would be like. Would she be spunky and energetic or more reserved and inquisitive?
The life of a loss parent is that of quiet wonderings and longings. Our reveries take us on journeys we hope will soothe our battered souls, if only for a moment. Then all too quickly, we must snap back into reality where our arms are forever aching, and those tears are dutifully swept behind a smile.
It has been four years since Alivia Rose was stillborn. Four years since I held her in my arms and breathed in her quickly changing newborn baby scent. Four years since I laid her in a casket and kissed her for the last time. Four years filled with “what-if’s” and “what should have beens.” Four years of missing holidays and special dates on the calendar. Four years of family gatherings and pictures come and gone. Four years of the daily little happenings we all take for granted. These four years are just beginning of a lifetime of memories that we are missing out on. A lifetime of special dates and red-letter days where her absence is felt more deeply as the memory of her departure plays over and over in my mind.
She should be here.
The truth is, there is not a day that goes by that she doesn’t come ever so beautifully tiptoeing through my mind. There isn’t a family outing we go on that I don’t notice her absence. Every trip to the beach, the park and even the grocery store, I can always imagine her there. Her absence leaves a gaping hole in my heart that will always be reserved just for her.
Losing a baby has been like a constant battering ram to my soul. When Alivia died, so much died with her. We lost every stage of her life…we lost her as an infant trying her first foods and learning to crawl, as a toddler learning to walk. We lost the loose teeth and the scraped knees. We lost her as a teenager learning to drive and young woman making her way in this great big world. We lost our future with her. All of the hopes and dreams with her as a family. All of the memories we should be making. Gone.
That precious little girl in the soft yellow dress lives on in our hearts and in Heaven. We must balance our reveries with reality and what we know to be true. I know that as hard as it is living without her now, we will one day be reunited again and that is what makes those special dates and red letter days almost bearable…what a beautiful reunion it will be.
I want to thank my friend Lori Fears for allowing her daughter Hazel to stand in Alivia’s place in these pictures. Having this visual representation of her has meant so much to me.
Sabrina has been married to her wonderful husband, Chris, for 13 years. She is a mommy to four beautiful children; two that walk with them and two that live in Heaven. They are a homeschooling families and have found great comfort in being able to mourn and grieve in their own ways together. The Ivy’s daughter was stillborn at almost 37 weeks on March 22, 2014. This has been a journey of faith, grief and hope for their family.