It has been 6 months. 6 months ago today we lost Ellis. I often go up to the cemetery on the 19th of the month, and I went again today. Today her headstone is in.
Her place is marked. Her name is written. I will never see her name anywhere but there - not spelled wrong at the bottom of a crayon drawing, not addressed on a birthday invitation, or on a report card, not embroidered into a team jersey, or printed in a wedding announcement. And as I sat there today looking at her name I mourn the loss of all of those times that we will miss, all of those moments that we would have loved to share with her.
Grieving Ellis over the past 6 months has been so difficult on so many levels, but I think the hardest thing in our particular situation is that it is hard for others to share in our grief. Not that there haven't been people willing to mourn with me, but when someone older has died, there are stories to tell, memories to share, moments remembered to laugh about. With Ellis only Ryan, myself, and my Mom ever saw her, held her, and only my Mother-in-law & my Dad have seen the pictures of her. So, for most everyone, there is no face to put with her name, no picture in their heads of a little girl who looked just like her sister. It has been lonely grief.
When I feel alone I do think back to what our pastor told us as we were planning Ellis' funeral service - he told me "Karin, God will not waste your pain". And I know that if I let Him, the Lord will use this, use us, to hopefully minister to someone else. But I have to be willing. I have to be willing to let go of any anger, I have to be willing to be fully happy for someone else without comparing it to my sorrow, I have to willing to praise God, and accept what He has given us with a grateful heart. Because God is good. Even through the pain, even through the sorrow, even through the suffering....God is good.
The verse that is written in the corner of her headstone is Matthew 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God". And though I mourn here - for me, for us, for the time that I wish we had, I know that sweet Ellis is in a place with no sorrow, for she is seeing Him. She is in His presence, and in His presence there is fullness of joy. God is good.