I continue to be amazed at the thoughtfulness of others. I was fairly certain that 5 weeks after losing Hope, most of the world would have forgotten. I was very wrong. Just yesterday an edible arrangement arrived from a friend, just to remind me that she was still praying and had not forgotten. I am always touched at the reminder that Hope continues to impact lives on this earth, even after she left it.
I still have odd feelings at times. I feel an urge to drive to the hospital to go see Hope or run up to her room to check on her in the crib. I will look up at a picture of her in our home and suddenly realize all over again that she's gone. It's almost like my brain forces me to forget that she's already in Heaven. Other days Shawn and I both feel like we've forgotten Hope's death completely. Either God has given us an immense peace, or we are still numb. We often discuss the fact that we feel like we're doing 'too' well and should be crying more. Don't get me wrong, I have my bad moments. Recently I called my mom at 2:30am, her time, to cry into the phone for 2 hours when I couldn't sleep and Shawn needed to get to work in the morning. Overall, we find we have moved back into a normal routine and can make it through most days without a severe breakdown. It's more common at the moment for me to well up with tears when I think of Hope, cherish her memory for a moment and move on with whatever I'm doing.
I'm planning to make a trip back to the hospital sometime soon. I haven't set a date for myself, but would like to go back and return some of the supplies we have in the next few weeks. I think I'll be okay. It helps that Hope was still alive when she left the Calgary hospital, I relate her death to the Edmonton hospital and would likely struggle more there. I was thrilled to hear this week that the Stollery Hospital finally received the $55 million dollar grant they had been seeking from the government. Their ICU is in deep need of expansion. Had this been done years earlier, Hope would have likely gone into the OR in January and could still be alive today. I pray this expansion saves the lives of more children when it's completed.
Our family was blessed to not be affected by the floods in Southern Alberta. Our home is up on a hill and remained dry. Shawn has been home from work for the last 3 work days because of evacuation orders to his downtown office. Sadie and I have enjoyed the time with Shawn and were thankful that he was home on the one month anniversary of Hope's death.
Each day without Hope is different. Sadie is still adjusting to the changes and is clearly thinking of Hope. On the weekend a friend asked another child where his sister was. Sadie quickly answered, "my sister is dead". It's never easy to think about Sadie not having a sister to visit or snuggle with any longer. She often longs for constant adult interaction and that can be draining, as I deal with my own desire to sit and do nothing at times.
Thank you to everyone that has continued to pray for our family as we grieve. Thank you for all of the practical help and love that you've given. We know that without your prayers and encouragement, we would not be doing so well. I have found it difficult to sit and pray alone since Hope's death. I continue to feel too emotionally overwhelmed when I try. I have tried to focus on praying with Sadie, reading her stories and teaching her about the Bible. It's a way that I can connect with God at a level that I'm ready for. It's a good habit to be in with Sadie anyway, and it will likely be a new routine in our family. One month of grief down, a lifetime to go.