Live Forever

Today I went to the grave of my little daughter again. When biking to the cemetery I realized again the bizarre reality that she really is my child, my baby. And that she is laying there, in the ground.

Last week someone send me a picture of her little baby, who has the same age my daughter would have. Suddenly my loss became much more real and concrete. First, I was living towards my due date. Now that date has passed and I don’t have another thing to live forward to. I can’t say: if only this date has passed, then…

First there was me missing the baby in my belly, now it is me missing the baby that should have been in my arms, the arms of my husband and my other children. And in the arms of her grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and nieces. This is a new kind of pain and I don’t know how to cope with it. I need to find my way in this too, to learn to live with it.

‘Cemetery closes at 5 pm’ says the sign at the entrance. I think back at that time that I went to her grave, but the cemetery was closed. I had felt panic: I can not go to my daughter! ‘How can it be that you can’t visit your own child’, I thought, and when cycling back I corrected my way of thinking. It is only her body that is laying there. Amanda herself is not there anymore. Not here in anymore.

I kneel down at her grave, get rid of weeds, make her little place neat again. For a short time, I allow my tears to rain down and I realize that this is a new layer. I didn’t cry this way before. Quietly I pray to my God: Please help me. Help me to carry this loss and to really go through it. And show me that there is an end to this deep valley of shadow of death.

The sun bursts through the clouds and warms my back. It feels as if it’s a wink of the eye. Words of a song I loved to sing when growing up, and suddenly heard again last week pop up in my head: ‘Death has been annuled, Jesus has risen. Jesus, the Lion of Judah, conquered death.’’

And I suddenly remember words someone texted me that morning: ‘God is your Lord! He will not let go and He will not allow that you will be overcome by this. With Him you will go through this and you, together with Amanda will live forever!!!’

I am encouraged to go on.

First published in Dutch on July 28, 2017

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