I have loved this season for how close it makes me feel to you. Of course, that same closeness has also made the season heavy. I’ll try and lighten it with story.
I was brewing some coffee the other morning when your sister said to me, “Dada, we are really lucky that we had a baby that died.” She presented this as a maxim that needed no further explanation or investigation.
Still, I pressed—as half-witted parents often do when presented with the seamless logic of their offspring. “Oh, really?” I inquired. “Why do you think that’s true?”
“Well because we have Bella in Heaven,” she expounded. “Not every family has a baby that is an angel in Heaven.”
I told her that she was right, and that I was proud of her for loving you so much even though you aren’t with us on earth. I also told her that even though I felt lucky to be the father of a little girl in Heaven, I’d rather have you here with us on earth. Caroline conceded that she felt the same.
And that’s the part that is heavy. It’s tough to think about all of the firsts that we missed. It’s tough to think about the giggles that you won’t make and the steps that you won’t take. What would you have been like in school? Who would you have married? Despite a five year age gap, would you and Caroline have been best friends?
I know that we will see you again and I know that, on that day, all of this grief will seem inconsequential. But in the moment, there are sometimes when it feels so heavy that it’s hard to breathe. In those times, I try to remind myself that we grow through our trials. I will be a better person for having the privilege of being your father, Bella.
I love you and miss you so much!