By: Justine Brooks Froelker
The darkness left behind by the loss of you
can feel as if the breath,
the very essence of who we once were
and who we wanted to be,
has been taken from us.
Some days the darkness so heavy it can be difficult to put one foot in front of the other,
let alone breathe.
Some days the dawn strikes
and our love for you fills us with wonder so powerful it propels us forward
in the day of the living.
The wonder of how your giggles
would have filled our souls with joy,
instead allowing our hearts to hear for us in the silence that can stifle us.
The silence of your life gone too soon
scarring our souls,
trusting we always know and see you
as our hearts will forever speak you.
Missing the warmth of your skin in our arms
and yet, we feel you
holy every day and always.
Never to know the tangible completeness
always wondering who you might have been
and who we could have been.
And yet, trusting and knowing we are whole,
even in our endless longing.
We will spend the rest of our lives moving through the grief
with whatever grace we can muster in that day.
Choosing to give ourselves graceful permission to embrace
the paradox that is defining our happy ending
within the arms of lifelong loss.
Within these arms of permission
and unwavering hope we can find our truth.
Our truth to live our lives in pure honor of you.
Because through this honor we fight,
fight to take back the pieces of ourselves
that grief has tried to plunder from our souls.
Taking back the pieces of you in us
battling to weave them into the fabric
of what we must carry with us always.
The battle of who we once were
and who we are now
as we parent you from afar.
Parenting with scarred souls
the scars which were once shattered hearts
through which we are forever changed.
and yet choosing to be always healing.
Healing within the complicated gray
of our eternal love for you and the darkness of grief.
In the tension of sorrow and love,
walking into this complicated gray
awakening to life in color
we breathe glory into our lives.
The glory of our love for you.
The glory of you.
About Justine Brooks Froelker
Hi! My name is Justine Brooks Froelker. In February 2011, my husband and I began our journey in the world of IVF. Gestational surrogacy was the safest way for us to have our children since I had two back surgeries in high school (including a year of my life spent in a body cast). IVF and 3 babies never to be born later, Ever Upward was conceived. After much mourning, confusion, anger and sadness, I got back up and started doing the work. The work to redefine; my life, myself, everything.
Justine currently lives in Saint Louis with her husband, Chad, and their three dogs. She enjoys her childfull life by spending time with friends and family, practicing creative self-care, laughing (many times at herself) and building butterfly gardens on her acre of land, which has made her an accidental butterfly farmer.
Learn more about Justine’s story on her blog, Ever Upward.