When Averie surprised us by coming into the world at 33 weeks we didn’t have anything set up. Her nursery was still full of miscellaneous items that needed to be sorted, we had no crib yet, nothing had really been done. We did have one decoration though, her name. I had settled on a few colors for her room and took it upon myself to paint the letters and the frames that housed the letters. I remember finishing and feeling quite proud of myself. When Averie passed away, her name as well as her other belongings were packed away and put behind closed doors for over a year.
When we moved to our new house and started unpacking I found her name. The sting of knowing it was never hung got to me. Being pregnant with Isabella at the time, the guilt of Averie being forgotten was strong. It was so strong at times it kept me from bonding with Izzy as she grew inside me. Irrational thoughts were always coming up which usually were followed by the guilt. We have a “shrine” of Averie where we have items like her urn, pictures of her, a shadow box my dad made with the clothing she wore when we said goodbye, a lock of her hair, footprints and other trinkets that remind us of our little girl. This guilt didn’t feel like her shrine was enough so one day I got out the sign and hung it over all her belongings. It made me feel good like I was validating myself by being able to finally hang her name up. It hung there until just recently.
My Mom and sister were out here just this last weekend and were helping us organize our bedroom. I glanced at the sign and I just knew that it was time to take it down. I knew I couldn’t keep it up forever and that having it up would somehow keep me trapt in a part of my grief that I knew I needed to get through. As I pulled the push pins out of the wall and gently stacked the letters in a pile a bittersweet feeling rushed over me. I know I’m never going to forget that beautiful first daughter of mine. She lives in all of us and I feel her everyday. When holding Isabella tight, I stare down at her with tears in my eyes at her sweet little face, so thankful for this little miracle our Averie sent us.
Finally getting to a place where the guilt is subsiding feels so good. I can love both of my daughters without feeling one may feel left out or forgotten. One is in my heart and the other is in my arms and I couldn’t be more proud to be their Mommy.