Easter is always so incredibly difficult. The first one after the loss of Elias was filled with so many mixed emotions. And even with all of the progress I've made in my grief over the past 2+ years, I feel like holidays such as Easter just get more difficult to navigate.
Did I buy enough baskets? Candy? Toys? Should we dye eggs? Do the kids even care when they are so young? Did I take enough photos with the kids all dolled up? Should we go see the Easter bunny?
And aren't all of these things simply massive distractions from what the holiday is really about?
I think that's why I fixate on them. I need the distractions.
From the holiday and from my grief.
Many loss mamas express that they feel every day that goes by they feel further away from their babies. Further away from that last time they felt them kick, heard their heartbeat, kissed them, and held them in their arms.
I understood this sentiment in a way but not fully, as I never felt "further away" due to time passing. In fact, it's more like every day that passes I am possibly one day closer to Elias, as when my time comes I hope with everything in me that we will be together again.
I hold onto this hope.
I do, however, feel that every day that goes by I am further away from God.
Two plus years out from when I still believed in Him with every fiber of my being. I miss that so much. I miss praying and not feeling silly about it. I miss going to church with genuine faith in my heart. I miss raising my voice in love and praise for something so much bigger than me.
Now, my prayers seem to be directed at my son. I prayed to Elias when things were going rough, and he seemed to be helping me through. I prayed to Elias to send me a little brother for Evelyn, and he did. I prayed for him to be healthy, to be born alive, and for a little piece of my heart to be healed.
The prayers I aim at my son seem to be heard much more often than the prayers I ever directed at God.
I say all of this very tongue-in-cheek. Obviously I don't really believe (nor did I ever) that people simply pray to God and get everything they ask for. If that was the case, there would be no poverty, death, heartache, or anything horrible happening in the world.
That doesn't mean I don't still find irony in how things have unfolded.
And it doesn't mean I'm not allowed to still be So.Freaking.Angry. at times when I reflect on how strong my faith had been during my pregnancy with the twins - stronger than it had ever been - and how betrayed I felt by God when my son was stolen so swiftly from me. I had been so worried about Elias, and people kept telling me, "Let go and let God."
If I had believed less in God, maybe my son would be here.
Biggest. Worst. Irony. Ever.
During family photos and holiday pictures, we like to have Elias represented somehow. He is and will always be part of our family, so it seems fitting. It helps to ease the pain of missing him, just a tiny bit. It's a statement to him that we haven't fogotten him, nor will we ever. In our most recent family portrait, we included a butterfly from Pottery Barn that my mom had purchased for his second birthday.
When Evelyn visits Santa Claus, we always have her holding a stuffed animal in Elias's memory (or wearing a butterfly clip in her hair).
Every Easter, Evelyn has her picture taken with the Easter bunny, and she holds this little blue stuffed bunny that we bought for Elias's remembrance shelf. It sits next to his urn except for the one day it gets to make an excursion out of the house to visit the Easter bunny.
It warms and breaks my heart all at the same time to watch her hold it, play with it, snuggle, and kiss it. I say, "Evy, will you take good care of little bunny today?" and she proudly proclaims, "YES."
I don't know if I will ever get back to that place of unwavering faith. I don't know how to even go about trying.
Tomorrow, I will be going to church.
I won't deny my children the chance to have the unwavering faith that I so miss from my own life.