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The Unbearable Pain of Grief

Each day is a reminder of the loss that we have had in our lives. Each memory, each story, each time lapse on Facebook reminds me of my little girl who is no longer here with me. I miss her so much and the pain is the most excruciating pain that I can think of. In fact, the pain is so mentally and emotionally daunting and painful that I feel as though I no longer experience physical pain. I have been covered in bruises, know that my fibromyalgia is acting up by swelling, etc....but aside from a little tooth pain (which iburprofen takes care of) I have not felt physical pain like I typically do.

I cannot think of a cruelty in the world that is worse than losing a child. Nothing can prepare you for the immense hole that you feel in your soul or the immense pain that your life becomes. There are days that I do not want to get out of bed, like today...days where the only thing that I want to do is lay down and go to sleep forever, in an attempt to silence the demons in my brain that are making me feel as though my pain is going to consume my soul for the rest of my life. I know from talking to other parents who have lost children that there will always be pain, there will always be longing, and there will never be a day that goes by that I do not feel these things. However, I have been told that one day I will be able to look back on memories and day I will be able to think of her without the tears welling up in my eyes. I don't think that this is true, but what do I know? This is still part of the beginning of my grief journey.

My precious angel was a performer and dancer. She was an amazing light in the world an someone that I looked up to. I know that it sounds silly to say that at 38 years old one of the people whom I looked up to was a 9 year old. However, if you know Adeline you will understand why this is. She was so loving, so forgiving, and so caring. She wanted everyone around her to have a better life. She loved with a ferocity that I don't know how to was so intense when you felt her love as she hugged you, it was like a warmth that enveloped your soul...a true hug like one that I have never received before and doubt that I will ever receive again. I can only imagine that it was this type of power and passion through her that God had in mind as a way to comfort me as a mother when the days got bad after He had called her home. She had the brightest light within her that I have ever seen and it was such a joy to be her mom and get to know her. I am so thankful that I got to spend the past nine years with her, but I wish so much that I had gotten to spend many more. It seems so unfair and cruel that she would be taken from me when she was the source of so much joy and happiness in my life and the lives of those around us.

Adeline loved to be just like Althea. Her big sister inspired her in so many ways. While one day she would tell you that she wanted to be an actress (which is a goal that she accomplished, more about this after the premiere), she had also told people that she wanted to be a ballerina. She wanted to be just like Althea and wanted to accomplish the same goals and dreams as her sister. I got this first video from her 2nd grade teacher, whom she loved. In fact, the last week of her life her teacher reached out to me, telling me that she wanted to talk to her and have a google meet with her to catch up. I am so thankful that Mrs. Peters took the time out of her busy schedule to make time for my girl. This video chat meant so much to her after a school year where she did not get the traditional goodbye from her teacher, a school year that started without seeing her friends in person and without a normal classroom. Mrs. Peters made her feel so special and she talked about that phone call quite a bit after it happened. The things in Adeline's life that happened at the end put friendships back together and gave a closure that I didn't see at the time, but now I can reflect and see that so many things were a part of her last days that made them. better than they had been before.

Adeline was quite accomplished for a nine year old. She managed to do things that adults who strive to do them had not done. She told me one day that she wanted to be an actress and from there she began working on auditions and we tried a few things. She had just landed a small role in a TV show that was supposed to grow as the show did. She got to be a part of the pilot episode and last minute was given one small line. She talked about getting a line all of the time. I'm so thankful to the producers that they gave her this line, because it allowed her to fulfill a dream that she otherwise would not have fulfilled. The producers of the TV show (Peoria TV Show) have since sent their condolences, offered me an amazing video of outtakes from her day of filming (which I will share after the pilot episode has aired, but you can see some of them here). I will also share when the pilot airs and where you can all watch it because I think that it is important to support a producer who has been so wonderful to me and my family after our tragic loss. Adeline had also been cast in a couple of short films and a web-based series that was based on the popular TV show, "Stranger Things." She had such a bright future. This is part of why I don't understand how God could have taken her from us. I don't understand why he took someone who was so full of life, someone who meant so much to so many people, or someone who was going to do such amazing things as she became an adult.

Adeline also made the competition dance team this year at her studio. She had chosen the song "Lost Boy" for her solo. At the time, I just thought of it as a favorite song of hers. However, the more that I listen to the lyrics and think of the story of "Peter Pan" I am left questioning things. I always loved "Peter Pan" as a child. However, as an adult I was not able to watch this cartoon and found it extremely painful and difficult when I did watch it with my children. It was in adulthood that I realized that each one of the lost boys was a little boy who had died. I realized that each lost boy had left a family and parents behind and that those who were the loved ones of lost boys had to have a significant hole in their souls and lives because they were no longer living with their little ones. I could not imagine going through this tragedy, but here I sit today as the mother of a little girl who was taken from this Earth way too soon. This solo is so beautiful. Adeline was becoming quite the little dancer and this video shows such grace and poise as she danced. At the end of the video she does a little happy dance because she knew that she had nailed her choreography. I am so thankful that Ms. Taylor her dance teacher took videos of her choreography for her to watch so that she could continue to practice and improve. I am thankful that I have this moment and that I got to see this dance. I am the type of mom who enjoyed being surprised with the finished product. While I would sometimes sneak a peak at a dance or something that the kids were preparing, most of the time I waited in anticipation for their performances so that I could be surprised and get to experience the full time. We had talked about her dance a lot but I had not fully watched it all because I wanted to be surprised.

She also was planning on a trio with two of her friends, Olivia and Sofi. Her competition team classes were interesting and she learned a lot of different styles of dance as well. I hope that you enjoy these cute videos as well. I can't help but wonder what it would have been like had she gotten to continue on through the season, what she would have become when it came to dance...would we have moved on to a bigger competition team? Would she have been an integral part of her competition team growing?

I am again blessed in that I have these precious moments caught on video. I am so thankful that Ms. Taylor sent me these and I will forever have a special place in my heart for the dance teacher that my little girl loved who also loved my little girl. Adeline would have continued doing amazing things, this I am certain of.

Moving forward through grief sucks. It is the worst thing that I can imagine. I don't want to move on. I don't want to stop hurting when I think of her. I don't want to be happy in a world where she does not live. I want to be with her. There has not been a day where I did not wish that Jesus had called me home instead of her or with her.

Yesterday I felt a trigger and a pain that I have not yet felt. A family in Des Plaines, IL (a Chicago suburb about 2 1/2 hours from where I live) lost their lives in a house fire. A man got up and went to work, then a fire broke out in his home. His wife and four daughters who were aged 1, 3, 5, and 6 died in that fire. I can't even begin to imagine the pain that this poor man is going through. I know the pain of losing one child in a fire...but to lose four and your spouse. That pain seems immeasurable on a different level, even though the pain of Adeline is truly immeasurable, I cannot imagine what the pain would have been like had I lost Adeline, Huxley, Althea, Andrew, and Shane. How would I have found the strength to go on? How could I have continued to live? Please say a prayer for Juan Espinosa...I can't imagine what this poor man is going through. You can donate to his Go Fund Me here. I am hoping that I can do something for him and reach out in some way to share that he has someone who sort-of knows what he feels like (although admittedly his loss is far greater than my own) and that I am here if he needs to vent or talk to someone. I am so heartbroken for him.

As I sit here grieving I am still alive, but I don't feel like me. I don't think that I will ever feel like me again. I will be a new me and that is okay but I really wish that I could be the old me...the me that had the life that I always dreamed of with the perfect mini-me. I had everything that I ever wanted...a wonderful and doting husband who I know loves me more than anything and four amazing children who all held bright futures and the promise of continued love. I am so thankful that Huxley, Althea, and Andrew are still here. I am thankful that I have the three of them to lean on (although I will admit that this is unfair, but at this time I can't help but be honest about what I need) as I navigate the loss of Adeline. My biggest hurdles and struggles right now are with trying to ensure that I always am a part of the world that Adeline would have loved. I want to live for her. I want her to experience life and live through me. I can so often feel her spirit surrounding me. I can feel her calling to me sometime and telling me that she loves me. I see the little messages and glimmers of hope that she leaves for me. I found a penny after my first time working out at Planet Fitness (which I just joined) as if she was telling me that she was proud of me. It was the weirdest way to find a penny and something that I truly cannot explain. I had just focussed on this spot on the floor for some reason. Then I went to put my shirt on and when it was on I focussed again and there was a penny that had not been there before. I picked it up and thanked my angel and then brought it home to put in the small jar that I purchased for the coins that she leaves me.

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