I have always loved spring. It is the most hopeful time of year. I loved that everything turns green and comes to life. I loved the anticipation of summer break from school and graduations. Daniel and I first starting spending time together in spring. It is full of excitement!
While I was pregnant with Ginny, I loved the fact that she was due in springtime. Spring represents new life! We would have the rest of spring and summer to go on walks together. All winter, I patiently waited for spring. That’s why I got so excited when I saw daffodils blooming when Daniel and I went on a walk a couple days before Ginny was stillborn. “Spring is here!” I proclaimed. That meant Ginny would be here soon. I don’t think I have ever had so much joy at the thought of spring arriving.
When we lost Ginny a few days later, it was like winter came crashing back. Everything seemed dead and dark.
In the coming weeks, several very well intentioned loved ones would try to encourage me by saying, “Think of the future. Spring is here, and it’s getting warmer. Try to enjoy that and have hope.” They didn’t realize that was like a knife in my heart. Every tulip that came up and every tree bud reminded me that Ginny would not be arriving that spring. The springtime that I most anticipated would be empty. Thinking of the future made me think of what was missing. I couldn’t envision the future..
Spring 2019 was filled with the deepest grief. I still spent time outside. I spent hours in the UNC Arboretum, crying, reading, and praying. I walked around campus listening to songs that made me feel every emotion in efforts to mourn and face my grief. Spring passed by without Ginny in my arms but with Ginny in my heart, and she was all that was in my mind.
I worried that spring was ruined forever. It hurt so badly to think of the disappointment spring 2019 carried. I wondered if that hurt would reemerge every spring along with the daffodils.
This spring, I decided to let myself feel whatever I was feeling. To my surprise, the daffodils brought joy, not heartache! I love seeing all the flowers blooming and bright new leaves appear at the treetops. I think of new life with our baby Chet. But I am also reminded of the sweet time I had mourning Ginny in the deepest moments of grief last year. Although painful, that time so close to Ginny was full of love.
I’m not sure if those who have never lost will understand, but the early moments of grief are filled with so much love. It is normal to miss the intensity of early grief. This year, spring reminded me of the long walks on campus thinking of Ginny and tending to my broken heart. Our loss didn’t ruin spring; it brought more love and renewal than ever before. I’m so grateful for that.