|'She may have died, but my love for her did not'|
Love. It was the first thing I felt as I caught Ariella and lifted her out of the water onto my chest. At that very moment, I didn’t care that she was stillborn – all I felt was love. A love so overwhelming that it actually felt like a physical wave hitting me. After the most tumultuous two days of my life, she was finally in my arms. A daughter. The most beautiful girl I had ever seen. And all I could think about was how much I loved her.
Soon enough, that overwhelming love manifesting itself in overwhelming grief. How could it not? Our beautiful girl would not grow up in our arms. It was quite a while before the grief began to seem less overwhelming and become bearable.
I still love Ariella just as much as I did three years ago at her birth but that love has evolved. It’s different, parenting a child in Heaven. I didn’t know how I could do it or what it would look like. But I’m learning. Instead of loving her toddle, first words or new skills, I love her impact on the world. I love her for the friends she has brought into my live and for the hearts her story has touched. I love how she changes the world each time someone donates in her memory or reaches out to a bereaved friend because of what her story taught them. My little girl is impacting the world despite not being here! How amazing, and what a privilege to be her mama.
What does my love for Ariella look like three years on from the initial rush of overwhelming love and then grief? It’s evolved into a more settled love. Of course, it expresses itself differently at various times of the year (for example, grief is the dominant expression on her Heaven Day) but it usually feels settled, just like my love for my living children. In the words of one of my favourite songs: “lost you before I found you, gone before you came. But I love you just the same.” She may have died but my love for her did not. Ariella Jade – always and forever my loved baby.
Larissa wrote her blog about the love she has for precious Ariella for Sands Australia. This blog also appears on The Motherish website
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Larissa is a wife to Marcus and a mother to two beautiful children – Ariella Jade in Heaven and Levi William in her arms. She loves spaghetti bolognaise and the smell of rain, but neither of them could make her smile when, after a textbook pregnancy, Ariella unexpectedly died at 39 weeks gestation. No reason was ever found for her death. Soon after Ariella’s death Larissa began writing.
You can find Larissa's posts at:
Deeper Still (www.loveisdeeperstill.blogspot.com) and on Still Standing Magazine (http://stillstandingmag.com/author/larissa).