Thursday, March 31, 2011

A year is almost gone.

Today is so incredibly hard to pay attention. I am thinking of Sophia, reliving those last few days where I still thought our dream was coming true. Today I question exactly what I was feeling and what I wasn't. For a long time after delivering, my body would trick me into thinking I was feeling her, even after she was gone. So now, I question, but not too much. There are some questions I do not want the answers to. It would be too much.

Some days, it is all too much, but most days I seem to be in a fog of sorts. Not really all the way present or gone, just there. When I think back to all that we have been through, it truly is amazing that we are still going. No one should ever have to decide how to handle their child's remains. We did this with heavy hearts, but in a way that was best for us, not worrying about what others thought. For us, we knew we had to be private, if only for self-preservation. There was no way either of us could handle going through a public visitation. We thought hard and not having strong roots to the area, we decided that if we were to cremate Sophia's remains, we could keep a part of her with us wherever we ended up.  

Our funeral home director took care of all of the details. This was at no cost to us. We found that many places actually waive costs when dealing with infant death. He walked us through the process and our choices and gave us a catalog to choose her urn from. We knew the ashes would be a small amount and that helped lead us to a tiny urn. The urn we were drawn to was made of blown glass and styled in the colors of the four different seasons. This in itself drew out discussion. Sophia was due in the Summer, but came in the Spring. Which one would work better? Which did we like better?
In the end, we both chose a beautiful green and yellow colored urn that was a gorgeous representation of Spring. We also chose to keep some of her ashes separate, to be scattered later. 

The location of our scatter site came from Tyler. The morning after we met with the funeral director, he mentioned wanting to go to the Ocean. There is a place in Florida that we visit almost yearly on the coast. We had gone on a yacht sail the last time we were there, the year before, and knew the Captain had spread ashes before, and that is how we decided. 

So no visitation. No burial. No public mourning. Just something both quiet and private that allowed the two of us to keep it together. We brought home our daughter's beautiful urn and made the plans for going to Florida to place her ashes in the Ocean. 

This happened in August of last year. We booked our condo for a week and headed down the 17 hours. I was a bit nutty about keeping Sophia's box safe. When we stopped for the night, I took her box into the hotel room with us. I know...even though she is gone, I still felt like I had to protect her. 

The Tuesday of our trip, August 17, we took the sailboat out on the Atlantic Ocean and with her ashes tied to a bouquet of flowers, we held hands and released our Sophia Marie to the Sea. The moment was both beautiful and heart-wrenching at the same time. Tyler had our GPS and was able to capture the exact coordinates for the release. We cried. We hugged. We mourned, but our beautiful little girl was in a good place. A place we can visit again.

Today that brings me peace. I know that Sophia is all throughout the Ocean, a place her father and I adore. Now anytime I go to the Sea, I feel her presence, and that is what I need. We both do.

Many days, it does not feel like a year has passed. Many days, it does not feel like I was ever even pregnant. I am so different today that who I was a year ago. I look different, feel different, act different. My feelings are more muted. I am much more guarded as a person. I am quieter and less outgoing. I am much smaller than I was and I struggle to keep a good body image and healthy view of myself. I have changed. I will never be the same person that I was a year ago. 

My daughter and her short life changed me forever. She made me a mother and I am forever grateful and thankful for that. Sophia Marie, Mommy loves you so very much. You are always on my mind and in my heart.


Kristen said...

This is so beautifully written. What a lucky girl Sophia is to have you as her mom.

Katie said...

I think you you often. I agree that Sophia is a lucky girl to have you as her mom. (((((((Huge hugs to you)))))))

Emily said...

I did the same thing with the boys ashes when we took them home at Christmas to be buried. I kept them with us so they would be warm. I completely understand. Lots of love to you as you approach this milestone. Sophia is a lucky little girl to have you as her mom.

theworms said...

Echoing previous comment-ers, L, that was a beautiful post and I love that when I go to the ocean I can visit her too.

You are strong and have an amazing partner, Sophia has some pretty great parents.