Tiny Sophie Spreads Her Healing Wings
The author of From Scars to Wings continues her healing journey and shares it from her heart with all of us.
After reading something written by one of my mentors this week, I decided to do what her article ["Give Yourself Permission to Be the Greatest You"] suggested. It gave instructions to all who read it to choose something to give ourselves permission for, to include one thing that we know in our hearts is the one thing that would make the greatest difference in our own happiness.
I chose to allow myself to feel. To truly feel. To allow my authentic feelings some room in my heart. I chose to push aside what I thought I should feel, what I have been taught to feel. I chose to not feel what it is simply easy to feel, what others expect me to feel or to only feel what makes it easier to sleep at night.
My daughter died five and a half years ago. She was born five days early on December 22nd, with irreversible brain damage after I was beaten by my partner and he pushed me down a flight of stairs. She fought for 5 days. Where one so tiny pulled the strength and fight from, I will never know. She left this world on December 27th. The very day she should have been entering the world, she was opening the gates to heaven instead.
The first few months after she died I was a mess. An inconsolable, non-functioning mess. I moved to the other side of the world to get out of the situation I was in. I naively thought that running away, making a fresh start elsewhere would make it easier. Of course, all I was running from followed me and still took up space in my head and in my heart. I was filled with all-consuming self-blame and shame for what happened. If only I had kept my mouth shut and not antagonized him. If only I had found the courage to leave him. If only I wasn’t so weak and had been able to protect my daughter. I was angry at him. There are no words to describe how I felt towards him, but I couldn’t fully blame him as that would mean taking the blame off myself. He hurt me in various ways for almost fifteen years, but I allowed it to happen so I was as much to blame as him, right?
I had some unwelcome communication with him this week. It brought back some very unwanted feelings and memories that I had tucked away in corners of my mind and heart and let myself believe that I had dealt with them. He managed to get access to my Facebook pages and has now read a lot of my posts, the content of which include my daughter, her death and my thoughts and feelings about her. I thought about folding my pages; I said that he didn’t have the right to read those things, he didn’t have the right to be a part of my connection with her through my writing. Talking with some friends about it gave me pause for thought and with some deep soul searching I had some very core-shaking realizations.
I am not angry at him anymore. I thought I would be angry until the day I die but I don’t feel anger. He didn’t set out that day to kill his daughter. He had problems, issues that went deeper than just his temper. He knew what he was doing was wrong every time he beat me but he never intended what happened. For as long as he lives he will have to live with the fact that he was ultimately responsible for the death of his own daughter. That is not me casting blame; that is simply fact. I accept my share of responsibility for our situation but at the end of the day, he beat me, he pushed me and as a result our daughter died.
I do not know, I cannot know, what he thinks or feels. For five years I have assumed that he doesn’t feel anything, that he doesn’t care, but I do not know that to be true. I allowed myself to believe that he didn’t love me because of how he treated me. I allowed myself to believe he didn’t love Sophie because of what he did… But allowing myself to believe it does not make it true. He has to live with what he did every day, just as I do. How do I know that he does not hurt and cry like me? How do I know that his heart does not break every time he thinks about it? I got to hold her. As hard as it is to remember that, I at least got to hold her. I know her touch, her smell; I remember every feature. I was at her funeral. I at least got to say goodbye. He never came so he never had that. I can’t even imagine not being able to hold her or say goodbye. On the days where I want to give up, when the pain threatens to engulf me, those are the memories that get me through. What gets him through?
Allowing myself to feel authentically is hard. It is easier to let myself believe false thoughts and feelings to ease the hurt, but that is not real. In order to achieve healing and forgiveness, it has to be real. I will never be on good terms with the man. We will never be sitting down to dinner together or communicating, but I no longer harbour hatred for him. Hatred achieves nothing except to hold me back. I don’t want to be stuck in a pit of hatred and despair for the rest of my life. Sophie does not want that for me either. She wants me to be as free and happy as she wants to be, and she can only be so if I release her to it. Blame, hatred, shame and guilt are not going to bring her back. These emotions take so much energy—energy that would be put to better use in fights that need it.
As I lit a candle tonight for my Sophie, I also lit a candle of forgiveness in my heart for him and for myself, that we may both find our way on our individual paths of grief and that we may both find some peace in our hearts. Even he deserves some peace.
Momma loves you baby girl, sleep well nestled with the angels.
♥ ka ♥
I never saw your smile, yet it is your smile that warms my heart when I am down.
Your eyes only opened for a second, yet their beauty permeates my soul forever.
I never heard you cry, yet it is your cry that wakes me in the middle of the night.
You never lived long enough to learn how to laugh, yet I hear your laughter carrying in the wind.
My arms only got to hold you once, but my heart will hold you forever.
The words “I love you” I will never hear from you, yet I feel those words every minute of every day.
You were never meant to stay forever, but that which you taught me will never leave.
Your heart never beat unaided, yet I feel your heart in every beat of my own.
You never woke up, 5 days you slept, yet you are alive in my heart always
You give me reason to wake up in the morning, purpose for prayer at night. You are my reason for being, for trying, for living… I made you a promise that I intend to keep. I will never stop fighting, never stop trying, never stop living. I will continue to use all that you taught me to make a difference, for you, with you… I will never stop. Even when I want to, I will never stop.
♥ ka ♥
If you are moved by KA’s story, please leave a comment for her below. And be inspired by her on Facebook at Hold My Hand, Welcome Home, and Sophie’s Song. <3 Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships