It’s been three months. How is that possible? Or seven, depending on how you count it. Three months since Samantha went to be with Jesus. Seven months since she made her appearance in this world. I wish I could say that the time is flying but it really doesn’t. Some days I stay busy enough that the time really does fly by. Other days seem so long and painful.

Saturday I found myself talking about how the antidepressants seem to be working. Then all of a sudden, I was feeling miserable again, so much so that I didn’t even want to go to church yesterday. And yet somehow my little niece made me feel better. I needed the reminder that there are still little girls here for me to love. And oh, how she can bring a smile to my face! I watched a little girl get baptized on Sunday too, and marveled at how she flapped her arms in surprise at the water hitting her head. Such a tiny baby – and so many little reminders of our loss. I just miss her, every day.

When I miss her, it’s not the days of illness and pain that marked most of her life. It’s those early days when she was so happy and just loved to eat and sleep, where the noises she made were not filled with pain but merely discomfort from her diaper or hunger. I miss the weight of her sleeping on my chest, the beauty of her face.

We go to a wedding this week, and I am not sure how difficult the journey will end up being. Originally we had planned to take Samantha with us. She was supposed to go on this trip and experience her first flight. And we were going to show her off to a lot of friends we haven’t seen in a while. Instead, we will be mourning with them. The last time we saw some of these folks was via Skype when they threw us a baby shower, shortly after we brought her home. They had sent a box and we opened the gifts with them all watching.

Some days this loss seems too great, too much for anyone to take. I find myself looking ahead to the length of my life, assuming it’s long, and wondering how I will ever be able to cope with being apart from my daughter for that long, until we are reunited in heaven. Other days I can look at this incredible holy gift that we were given, being able to shepherd a child into the arms of Jesus and I stand in awe. Most of the time these two thoughts/feelings come right on top of each other.

This trip is fitting, actually, to return to the place where we first experienced the grief of losing a child, right on the heels of this loss. We are going to attend church where we did in the first year after Jonah died. I pray that these days ahead won’t be too difficult, though I fear that they will be. I’m just going to keep moving forward as best I can, and enjoy watching a dear friend get married.