Friday, March 7, 2014

Dear Alaska, Thanks for helping me be brave.

Dear Alaska, ‽

Right now I'm listening to a song that your auntie Lenae sent me today called "Brave" by Sara Bareilles. I've heard this song many times before without really listening to it. I remember being touched when I read something about it being written for the singer's friend who was having trouble coming out to family members, but I had never really listened to what the song says until my baby sissy sent it to me today with a note, "made me think of you :)".
"Show me how big your brave is/Say what you wanna say/And let the words fall out"
Alaska, everyone can relate to these lyrics at some point in life. Most people hold words in every day and don't say everything that they want to say. If it weren't for my letters to you and my blog, I would be holding most of these words in. Even with my writing, there are a few things that I haven't been brave enough to say or write.
"Nothing's gonna hurt you the way that words do/When they settle beneath your skin/Kept on the inside and no sunlight/Sometimes a shadow wins/But I wonder what would happen if you/Say what you wanna say"
Do you know what happens when someone is brave, Alaska? A weight is lifted, a strength revealed. Sometimes more pain follows, but it's ok because if we're brave and push back, we get stronger. Even in the moments when we feel worthless and weak, if we push back, we get strength. I wish you were here for me to say this to. I accept (mostly now) that you can't and won't be. I can (mostly) accept this because I have been allowed to say what I need to say to the world: Alaska Eileen is my daughter who I will love forever.

Everyone deserves a chance to be brave, Alaska. No truth is too small or too big. I watched a video posted by the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital right before I started writing this letter. The patients, their families, and staff in the cancer ward made a video to Bareilles' "Brave." 

Children's cancer is another reality that people tend to hide from. If we don't talk about dead babies and kids with cancer, somehow we feel safer, as if it isn't happening. But it is happening every single day to people that we know. I have been guiltier than most when it comes to ignoring the painful reality of others. Did I think that I might catch their sad luck? (Absurd, I know.) I have read many times since you died that baby loss is not contagious. (Duh, I know.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, yes, we need to be brave and say what we want to say--to tell our truth, but we also need to be brave by offering an opportunity to others: "show me how big your brave is."

It's so simple.

I love you, angel girl. Thanks for helping me be brave. Send some extra angel kisses to your auntie Nae.

Love, Mommy    <3  ‽