Growing Up Is A Blessing

The “would have been” milestones have a way of bringing grief back to the forefront. These are the times I dread most. The days don’t stop passing no matter how much I want them to stand still. Time is the growing divider between the present moment and the last time I saw her face.

I have been dreading this week since the day she left me. I have a hard time imagining what life would be like if she were still here, but I am certain she would be excited to be starting school. Instead of watching her get on the school bus, I will be sitting on the sidelines looking at photos and reading posts about other parents seeing their children off to school for the first time.

It’s hard as a loss-parent to read about how sad some parents are about these milestones. It’s hard enough to see these days pass by without her, but when others take these moments for granted, it’s like adding salt to the wound. Don’t be sad it’s happening, be thankful!
I’m not here to tell you not to be sad that your baby is growing up; I’m here to remind you how blessed you are that you get to watch your baby grow up! I’m not going to tell you not to be anxious about your baby being away from you all day for the first time because it’s hard not to know what they are doing or if they’re okay. I will, however, reassure you that your child is okay and well cared for!
Starting school is a major milestone for a child but it’s often one we as parents dread because it means our babies aren’t babies anymore. I am going to remind you that your baby will ALWAYS be your baby, no matter what! Nothing can change that, just like Bella will always be my baby. But Bella will always BE a baby because she didn’t get to grow up. Growing up means your baby is learning and experiencing, and this also means you have the privilege of watching them learn and grow.

So please, be grateful! Be present! And don’t let your thoughts affect your child’s experience (because they can sense our anxiety). Be proud! Be open, because your child is about to blow you away with how quickly they can learn. And most of all, CELEBRATE! We celebrate when our baby says his first words or takes her first steps, so remember to celebrate this milestone too.

This is a big week for many kids. I’ll be thinking of all Bella’s friends this week. Best of luck to you all. I hope you make your mommies and daddies very proud.

Much love,


Happy 4th Birthday in Heaven

It takes months to build pillars of strength to hold me up, but a moment is all it takes for it to crumble. I’m exhausted and continue to struggle to process this past week. It was Bella’s birthday on Monday. She would have been 4 years old.

For some reason, the day before always seems to be harder for me. I’m not sure if it’s the anticipation or if it’s my way of making the actual day a bit easier. I tend to underestimate how difficult anniversaries are. I expect it to get easier as time passes, but it doesn’t. The reality of child loss is that life gets in the way of your grief and you do begin to live again. But anniversaries bring grief back. Raw grief. With grief comes pain. The type of pain that makes you wish you weren’t alive. It grabs me by the throat and won’t let me breathe. Every. Single. Time.

I can’t imagine what life would be like if Bella were here. So much has changed since she left, many changes were a result of her leaving. The questions don’t stop flowing but there are no answers to these burning thoughts. It’s energy wasted, yet it seems uncontrollable on days like this.

On days like her birthday, I revert to living breath by breath and count down the minutes until the day is over. I’m at a place now that not every day is difficult. I have wonderful days filled with love and laughter. I think and speak about Bella every single day, but on ordinary days, these thoughts and words are not overpowered by pain. On days like her birthday or the anniversary of her passing, not a moment passes that I don’t think of her. I can’t NOT think of her. The day is spent remembering what is missing. On a day such as the anniversary of you child’s birth, how can you think of anything other than the pain of living without them. The thought is inconceivable to any parent…yet this is my reality.

I now understand that twice a year, on June 28th and November 14th, I am allowed to take these days off. I am giving myself permission to be absent from life and allowing myself to step into my grief. I will do whatever I need to do in order to get through these days, regardless of what that looks like (as long as I am not causing anyone else pain). I am learning that on these two days every year, nothing will help me escape the tragedy of losing my baby girl. On these days, I give myself permission to break, crumble, cry, and scream. I allow myself to be angry and sad. I give myself permission to express these feelings. On these days, I am giving myself the gift of the day to myself, to allow grief to run its course.

Every year for Bella’s birthday, I ask my friends and family to help spread love and kindness to honour Bella’s memory with Bella Angel Cards. This year, I raffled off a prize to encourage people to scatter kindness. At first I was disappointed by the lack of involvement, but the few people that participated REALLY understood the meaning. Making people smile feels wonderful and can become addicting. One person had 20 entries and there were 48 entries in total. The winner was drawn randomly although all the storied touched my heart. It was hearing about these random acts of kindness that helped me get through a very difficult day.

After a quiet supper, I invited my parents and Nonna to come over for cake. A birthday wouldn’t be a birthday without cake! Hudson spontaneously sang Happy Birthday to Bella as I brought the cake into the living room. It was beautiful and put a huge smile on my face. I am grateful he is growing up remembering his sister. It’s important that he never forget her. It’s important that we all remember Bella. This is how she lives on.❤️👼🏼

#HappyBirthdayinHeaven #Grief #RawGrief #BirthdayGrief #AnniversaryGrief #ChildLoss #StayStrong❤️