Today. September 19th. Always the day I met and said goodbye to my third daughter, Eva. Always on the heels of her brother’s birthday, September 18th, who was born a year later, forcing me to experience the joy and the pain together, to remember that they go hand in hand in life, for we have to have loved deeply first in order to feel the grief of loss. It’s such a strange time of year for me, and somehow it catches me off-guard every year.
This year, I almost didn’t write a blog post. Those of you who knew me half a decade ago when Eva died know that this is strange for me, because I’ve processed much of my grief through writing in my blog. But somehow this year feels different. I still feel the void of the daughter I lost, but the wound no longer gapes and bleeds as it once did. Anyone who has lost someone they’ve loved will understand what I mean when I say this: I now feel whole in my emptiness. There will forever be a part of me that is incomplete without her, but I’ve learned to live without that part of myself. I’m at peace with what I lack.
So to celebrate Eva’s life today, I simply want to leave you with this one thought: whatever your pain is, share it with others. Open up, be vulnerable, and let other people into the uncomfortable, painful and ugly. It would have been very easy for me to hide away and lick my wounds alone in the midst of the pain of losing Eva, but had I done that, I would be a shadow of who I am today. I will never regret my vulnerability because it brought me relationship. We are not meant to travel this world alone, and I am whole today because of all of you who chose to walk with me when I let you in.
Be vulnerable. You have everything to gain.