There are days that being a grieving parent is so hard that even the simplest tasks feel like too much. Something as easy as getting dressed and brushing teeth can be overwhelming. Those are the days you just want to hide from the weight of it all. It is easier to hide than to face another day without your child.
I have plenty of days like that. Some days I feel genuine joy and other days I just feel crushed. Like my soul is tired. I was given the most beautiful gift I could imagine. I had the daughter I always dreamed of. And then her life was just snatched away. In one day I lost my daughter and began a life-long journey of grief.
But on the days when my soul is especially tired. When life feels like too much, Olivia sends me beautiful reminders. The night she passed away a very bright star appeared in the sky just above our home. I saw it for the first time the night after she died as we drove home from planning her funeral. I know without a doubt that this star came from her. In fact, I used to say a phrase to her out of a Nancy Tillman book over and over. “You are my angel, my darling, my star and my love will find you wherever you are.” It meant so much to us that we even had it engraved on the backside of her headstone. And now a beautiful, bright star just sits in the sky as a reminder that she loves us and she misses us. Sometimes it is the only star you can see.
It is these beautiful reminders that give me the strength to keep going. And I need that strength desperately. When you lose a child you lose a piece of yourself that never comes back. Your moods and emotions are all over the place. It’s like being trapped on a rollercoaster that never stops.
I am grateful for my Livy. I am grateful for the time I got to have with her. And I am grateful for the difference being made in her name. But my goodness does grief hurt.
Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research. The foundation has given $155,000 to pediatric cancer research teams in just 3 years. You can learn more and donate at www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.