I was bad a posting my daily Capture Your Grief photos to the blog. Better late than never, right?
Day 2: Identity
Avery Diane Hanson, no name will ever be as perfect. We knew if we ever had a daughter, her name would be Avery. There is no significant meaning to it, other than on vacation 3 years before she was born we had a waitress names Avery. We both loved the name and it stuck. There was no second guessing her name when we discovered our baby was a girl.
Avery's middle name is after my grandmother. She was the rock of our family and I grew up spending many nights at her house. She is forever missed and forever loved.
Like her name, Avery was perfect and brought so much happiness to our lives before SIDS took her from is 6 days after she was born.
❤️Avery Diane Hanson❤️ June 6-12, 2012❤️
Day 3: Myths
Time does not heal all wounds. It simply puts more space between losing Avery and today. Time does not heal, my wounds will always be present. Time simply helps us learn to live with our wounds. Some days they are more raw than others.
Day 4: Legacy
Since Avery's passing we've created a small non-profit, Avery's Light (www.averyslight.com), to help other families experiencing pregnancy and infant loss. Since Avery's passing there have been 2 Memorial Golf Tournaments in which proceeds went to build Avery's Place, a playground for our church. We've also used proceeds to sponsor the building of 100 bears through Molly Bears and will be using the remaining proceeds to help local families. And we have many friends and family who frequently perform random acts of kindness in her memory.
Even though she is no longer here physically, Avery's Light continues to shine daily and she is touching so many lives. I am so proud of the legacy my six day old daughter has left behind.
Day 5: Memory
I am so thankful to have many great memories through my 9 months of pregnancy and 6 days of Avery's life. While it will never be enough, I am thankful for those memories I do have. We had 9 months and 6 perfect days with her. One of my fondest memories was on June 10, 2012. She was 4 days old and it was the first time I was alone with her at home (even if only for an hour). My husband ran to the grocery store and I stayed home. I spent that time just mommy and daughter. We cuddled in her room, I read "I'll Love You Forever" to her and she in return blessed me with some of my favorite memories of her. She was smiling and making silly faces while we sat and rocked. It was a great afternoon, one that stays in my heart and really helps me to remember that I still am a mom.
Day 6: Ritual
Every week without fail since June 16, 2012, my husband and I always visit Avery at the cemetery on Sunday after church. We bring fresh flowers, clean up her area and spend some time there with her. Even though we know she is not there, she's in Heaven, it's still our place to feel close to her. This is our special time as a family, our family ritual that brings us peace and comfort each week.
Day 7: Where I am now...
1 year, 3 months and 25 days of missing her later and daily my grief shifts and surprises me. It is constantly changing and evolving in new ways as the days continue pushing us forward.
Today I am 24 weeks, 3 days pregnant with our rainbow, Avery's little sister. This has changed my grief. In some ways it has lightened the load; it's given me hope. Hope that very recently seemed so far away. Hope that I'll be able to raise and parent this child and get to actively mother her here and not only in memory. It has given me something to look forward to, something positive to fill my thoughts. But it also has made aspects of my grief heavier. I'm afraid Avery will be forgotten by others, I fear I will disappoint her, I worry that I won't be able to mother a daughter in Heaven and one here on Earth. She's been my life and now I must figure out how to balance her and her sister.
This photo represents my two girls. Avery through my bracelets I always wear in her honor and Harper growing daily inside of me. This is me now.
Day 8: Color
When we found out we were having a girl we were thrilled. Avery was the first girl on my husbands side full of boys. We knew pink would be her color. Her bedroom had pink walls and matching accessories, her closet is full of pink.
Since losing her, pink has taken on a whole new meaning. Pink represents Avery in our family, even to the youngest members who have pink matchbox cars that they call their "Avery cars." Whenever we do something to recognize or honor her, pink is the color of choice. Pink will always be Avery's.
Day 9: Music
There are so many songs that have hit me in different ways since losing Avery. Some, like the ones we played at her funeral, crush me. I cannot listen to them. Others bring me hope and are a reminder that this pain is not eternal. One of my recent favorites is Carrie Underwood's "See You Again." I will see Avery again and I am so glad I can live in this hope. Without that I don't know how I would get through each day without her.
The photo is of a necklace that has hung in my car over the last year. Like the song, this necklace means a lot to me and has brought me hope and peace. Read the story behind the necklace here: http://missingavery.blogspot.com/2013/03/grief-sunglasses.html?m=1.
Day 10: Belief
My faith brings me hope and peace and helps get me through even the darkest of days.
I believe God sent his son, Jesus, to die for us and forgive us of our sins. I believe that one day, when my time comes I'll be in Heaven. I believe Avery is safe in Heaven, surrounded by Jesus and our family members who have gone on before us and I have faith that one day we will be together again. This faith brings me peace and hope for the future, this gets me through my worst days, this reminds me that her death was not our final chapter and I look forward to that day when we are together again.