On December 6th, it marked 10 months without my baby. It still feels so unreal. I don’t know if I’m just numb, in denial, or I’m experiencing the Peace that God promises when you turn to him. I have thrown myself into my faith because I don’t know what else to do. I know my daughter is in Heaven and at Peace. I feel the closer I get to God and my faith, the closer I’ll get to her. Selfish, maybe? But it really does bring me Peace.

Peace doesn’t mean I don’t cry my eyeballs out because I miss her so much. Peace doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t change things if I could. Peace doesn’t mean that I’m happy. It means that regardless of the circumstances, I know that I am Held in his promise and that I will see my beautiful girl again.

As I approach the holidays, I feel no excitement or sense of urgency. Hahaha, being a single mother, I would struggle financially a lot. The whole goal of going to Grad school was so that I didn’t have to worry about finances. However, when you pay for your own college and pick a degree in mental health, you are not compensated adequately for your work. Maybe if I had known, I would have gotten a business degree. However, money has never been a driving force for me. I wanted to help people, do what I love, and to support Aria financially on my own. Not rich! I don’t want to be rich. I never have. I just wanted to be comfortable. To be able to provide Aria with everything she needed and reasonable things she wanted. Also, have the means to go on a memorable trip each year.

She wanted to go to Japan so badly. I never got her there! It breaks my heart. When I wrote my final research paper, in my “Thank you’s” I wrote to Aria, “Yes, I will take you to Japan.” Yet, the financial shit made it so I had to keep pushing it off. Damn it, I wish I would have wiped out my bank account and just took her. Fuck it! I’d give back all of the knowledge I’ve accumulated, all of my accolades, and all of the money I put towards school to grab Bugs and travel the world. Hindsight, is really twenty/twenty. Jokes on me. I do all this to make a better life for her and I lose her. What am I good for now?

Ok, I have to take a second to explain to you guys how Bugs talks to me. I started writing this blog while in the parking lot at church waiting for choir practice to start. I randomly named it “Held” bc of my relationship to the song and my struggle with letting go of things(which I’ll get into). My plan was to play the song Held at the end of the blog. As I walk into the choir room, I see the set list for the Christmas concert for the first time. I see there is a solo from the kids choir. The little girl doing the solo is the one who sang “HELD” at Arias funeral. I asked my friend, the choir director at Park, to pick a kid to sing that song. I haven’t seen her since the funeral. I don’t think I talked to her that day. I’ve never met her. I’ve only been in contact with her through mail. I sent her a thank you note for singing. Then her and her mother sent me a letter staying they were praying for me, it was very sweet. Her family goes to the early morning service, so I’ve never been formally introduced. But, I was blown away, once again and felt validated from Bugs that this is what I’m supposed to write about.

Anyways, the holidays have just been a repeated reminder that I can’t get what I truly want. I saw a picture my friends Christmas tree with tons of presents underneath. It looked like what my tree would look like if Bugs were here. But not this year, there’s nothing there.
Bugs and I always decorated our tree on December 1st. We would pick out a Balsam and decorate it all in the same night. I’d want to play *NSYNC Christmas and she would want Pentatonix. We’d compromise. I wasn’t going to get a tree this year. But, the day after Halloween, Aria’s friend Emma text me to see if she could decorate the tree with me like last year. Aria, Emma, and I decorated together last year and she wanted to recreate that. How could I say no? Last Sunday, Emma and Neha came over to help me decorate. It was very sweet. But, I miss Aria.

2019 has been hell, it’s been awful. I want the holidays to pass quickly. Initially, I couldn’t wait to start a new year. However, as the new year approaches, I find myself wanting 2019 NOT to end. Regardless of the pain this year has brought me, it’s the last year that Aria lived in. Every year from here on out she won’t physically be here. Even though she wasn’t around long in 2019, she was here! I want to hold on to it! The idea of not having her for a whole year. The beginning of a new decade, is too much to process. Maybe it’s weird and irrational but, that’s how I feel.

Last night, I had a dream. It was about me physically and emotionally incapable of doing anything productive because I missed Aria so much. I couldn’t get off the floor. I was mean to people. I cried all day everyday, I couldn’t work. My body ached non stop from wanting to hold her so badly. Again, I am brought back to the whole point of this blog. It’s not that I don’t have moments that I feel like I did in my dream. Some days I am useless, but, I keep going, keep pushing. God never promised us a pain free life. However, the promise was when everything fell, we’d be HELD.

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  • Rev. Jenny Lind Larsen says:

    Thank you for sharing your story Brittani. I’m sure you don’t remember me, but I was on Park Ave.’s worship team & sang in the choir when you would come solo sometimes. I remember meeting Aria when she was still little. Very sweet and with an old soul.

    I know there’s nothing I could say to ease your loss. But I can & will continue to pray for you as you process Aria’s passing. Suicide has also touched my life and some days it’s just too surreal…unbelievable…to try and put words to. It’s a void that can’t be refilled. But God & my congregation help me “baby step” it into each day.

    I wish you Gods abiding love & grace dear one!

  • Jamie Herman says:

    Beautiful and love that song❤

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