Published: Aug 30, 2012 12:55 PM
Modified: Aug 30, 2012 12:56 PM
(Kelly Sechrist’s daughter Abigal Faith was born on Oct. 23, 2001, and died suddenly just five weeks later.)
We are who we are as a family, as David, Kelly, Cameron, Cohen, and Katie Gray because of our other daughter and sister – Abigail. Our family does not exist without her or outside of her, and we remember her as though she inhales and exhales every breath with us. We traveled to hell and back over the past seven years – much of that because of our grief and some of it in spite of it.
Life goes on and other bad things happen and the greatness of life continues in the same unending cycle. Our marriage and relationships have suffered and bounced between clinging tightly to each other and completely turning our backs on each other. We have walked, driven, and run blindly through tears. We have prayed with fervor and cursed a cruel God. We have watched baby monitors and sweated through spinal taps on our babies.
We almost lost another child to a septic infection in his blood stream and spent weeks on bed rest with our fourth child. I suffered dark depression and anxiety and finally saw a glimmer again. Just because we have light now does not mean that our love and grief for a daughter lost is gone – it only means that it intensifies. David and I both, along with our children, have found ways to deal with our losses – we run, we go to church, we revel in the magical things of our world and for now we pay homage to the empty chair at our table.
Excerpted from “Farther Along: The Writing Journey of Thirteen Bereaved Mothers,” by Carol Henderson.
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