Today is Goodwin’s 2nd birthday.
Sometimes I feel like I have a responsibility to be sad today — like it’s wrong to say that I feel at peace. I certainly don’t feel that way all the time. My grief can resurface instantly on any day, but today I feel at peace.
I think about Goodwin every day. I think about what our family would look like and how I would see things differently. Life would have remained more innocent.
But in light of his birthday today, I wanted to share some pivotal moments that have helped me find peace.
The first is the arrival of Violet. She is a treasure to me. The sweet, curious, squishy person that she is blesses our family. After Goodwin’s death I felt like I lost myself, like the love I had for my baby had nowhere to go. Of course I could still love my living family, but it wasn’t the same as the nurturing bond that develops between a parent and a new child. Having Violet in our family has helped me deal with the abandonment I felt in the aftermath of Goodwin’s passing. To me she’s like a special light that shines in our family after a time of darkness.
The second is comforting words and feelings. Even moments after I learned about Goodwin’s passing I felt peace. I felt that I could handle it. At his funeral the words during Eldon’s prayer comforted me: “More has been given than has been taken away.” I think about that phrase constantly, and it gives me hope that God can bless us with more happiness than the sadness we experience. And at specific times when I have prayed or thought about my sorrows and questions, I have felt comfort and God’s love for me, which has offered me greater peace.
The final pivotal moment occurred pretty recently. My brother-in-law was visiting with two of his kids. I took his little boy and my three girls to the children’s science museum. As we all started walking around I experienced a strange feeling. One might think it would be sadness and regret, seeing what my life “would have been.” But instead it was validation. Finally, everyone on the outside was viewing my family as I knew it on the inside: three girls and a boy. I certainly wasn’t able to handle it in real life since I lost my nephew two times(!) but it was such a surprising, peaceful moment that helped me heal.
I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for my belief that I will be reunited with Goodwin someday. And I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows me and blesses me with peace.