A recent move unearthed a journal I started shortly after we lost Sophia. The first entry, assigned by our Buddhist/Carl Jung-loving, middle-aged, slightly crazy therapist, is a letter to Sophia.
“Maybe writing her a letter will help ease the guilt,” she suggested.
Three-and-a-half years later, I don’t remember if it helped with the guilt. Probably not. Reading it now, my heart broke. It reminded me of how past-Laura–three-and-a-half-year-ago Laura–reeled in sadness, anger, disbelief, responsibility, regret. It reminded me of how much I loved her (and still do). It reminded me of why I share my story–Sophia’s story. It takes guts to share; it took more guts to write. I am proud of my past-self for taking the pen to paper, forcing each excrutiating word into an eternal existence when every loathsome emotion was agonizingly raw, unrelenting.
While sadness continues to drape its ugly cloak over some days, or hours, or minutes, today I stand proud. I am proud for allowing my feelings to exist. I am proud I think of Sophia most minutes of every day. I am proud I can smile when her image floats through my day. I am proud for releasing the misguided guilt.
I want you to know that I love you and thought you were a beautiful, sweet baby girl. I’m so sorry I was scared to see you and hold you, but that was because of my own worries, anxieties, and insecurities and wasn’t about you. I am also sorry about my insecurities when we first found out about you. Instead of feeling thrilled as I should have, I was scared and worried. I wish I could take that all back and instead spend that time loving you.
When we first found out there were problems, I wanted nothing more than to save you and protect you. I had many sleepless nights worrying and trying to find information on the internet that would assure me that everything would be OK. That, of course, never happened. I know that there was nothing I could have done differently. I was completely powerless against nature’s intentions for you. That doesn’t make me love you any less.
Through all the bad we endured, holding you for your short life was the best thing I have ever done. I knew instantly how much I loved you, and could really see for the first time how much your Daddy loves you. I knew then that what we needed to do for you, to help you, was to let you go. We feel your spirit everyday, and I know you are still with me.
Sophia, I will never forget about you no matter how old I get or what I do in life. You were my first child and my little fighter. Just know that while my thoughts about you make me sad, it’s only because of how things ended. I love remembering you. I love you, baby, and from seeing how much you fought this and how long you stayed with us, I know you loved me too.