Part 4: “… and she laughs without fear of the future.”
By Elyssa Cottrell
Special to Jobe Publishing
In my darkest days, I would question how I would ever be able to see the light again. I wanted to be anywhere but where I was. How could something so tragic ever turn into something good? How could I ever move forward? How would I ever be able to love another baby? I had so many unanswered questions it was hard to imagine life ever getting better.
I encourage you, in your darkest days, to reach out to someone. If you can’t handle baby showers, gender reveals, or pregnancy announcements, it’s okay. You are not alone, and every feeling you have is valid. Please remember you are your only advocate, and only you can make the change you want.
As loss moms, we can’t look at the world with a jealous eye or stay in a state of comparison because we don’t have what someone around us does. Easier said than done, I know. Trust me. But, when we can move forward with the hope of tomorrow and hold onto the hope of new beginnings, it makes each day a little easier. We all have an angel upstairs. If we look up gracefully, I believe we will see a full life ahead. The saying “life goes by so fast” was something I held onto in my darkest days because I knew I would get to the other side of my deep grief. It was a reminder that I was making it. It was a reminder that I was one step closer to seeing a rainbow again.
Whether it be the sight of a red bird, a butterfly, a rainbow, or a ray of sunshine peeking through your bedroom window – whatever your baby’s legacy is – hold onto it. Stop and look around for signs from your baby, as they are all around you. Hope is coming. No matter what follows, joy is still joy, and there will be joy in the morning.
Thank you for sticking with me for the last four weeks and reading my ever-evolving story. Please hold onto the promise of meeting your baby and hearing the words “mama.” When God hands your baby to you, it will all make sense. I imagine that the day I hold my Sadler, I will be surrounded by angels and praises, and I will thank God for giving me a new outlook on life. But, until that day, I hope you can live out a full life here on earth. I hope you don’t stay stuck in your sorrows, as tomorrow is a new day. Hold onto the promise of Proverbs 31:25: “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
You are already stronger than you believe. Allowing yourself to have happy moments after baby loss will take you far. Laugh, laugh until your belly hurts. Laugh without fear of the future, my friend, and let yourself cry when you need to cry. Your baby is with you everywhere you go, and don’t ever stop believing in that.
Lastly, and most importantly, if God has given you babies to love, I hope you hold onto them a little tighter. I hope you sing to them, kiss their fingers and toes, and read them the same book over and over, even if you can read it with your eyes closed. Let your kids play in the dirt, beat on pots and pans, dress up for Halloween year-round, and have mock tea parties every day. I hope you let them paint when they want to paint, sing when they want to sing and dance when they want to dance. I hope you let them walk through muddy rain puddles instead of on the sidewalk and let them stick their tongues out to the snowflakes falling. When Christmas comes around, I hope you let them place ornaments on a tree wherever they choose, even if that means they are all in one spot. Let them make sugar cookies that end up being balls of messy icing, but tell them how beautiful and tasty they are. I hope you pray with and over them every night, hold your babies a little tighter, and don’t fear tomorrow. Stay present in each moment with your children as God has blessed you to be the one to raise them earth-side.
Thank you for letting me share my story with you. As our time comes to an end, I find myself with tears in my eyes. Writing these words to you, whoever you are, wherever you are, has been another step in my continued healing journey. I encourage you to write, too. Share your story. Say your baby’s name.
To my angel, my constant “Ray” of sunshine, my hope for a better tomorrow. This one’s for you, Sadler Ray Cottrell. Forever, my baby, you’ll be.
If you want to connect with me, share your story, and stay up to date with mine, please follow along at https://www.sadlersrayofsunshine.com/. Also, I would love to connect with you on social media. Facebook – Elyssa Cottrell and Instagram – elyssacottrell