I’ve been out of touch, and I apologize—this has been a difficult post to craft. Writing it sends me back to the day at the end of October when, half way through our pregnancy, Robert and I lost our baby girl.

We spent the first half of November cocooned in our home. We held each other. We talked. We cried. My parents drove down from Rhode Island to be with us; they helped, in their quiet, loving way, to get us through those first few weeks. And on our lowest days, it was our near-two-year-old son, Wyatt, whose smile made us realize, despite feeling like the unluckiest people in the world, just how fortunate we were.

When we finally worked up the courage to share the news of our loss, the response was incredible. There are no words, many wrote…just know that we love you. You are in our hearts, our thoughts, our prayers. Several people surprised us by telling us they’d been through something similar. You’re not alone, they said, the words somehow comforting—hang in there, things will eventually get better. It was a promise we clung to, praying there was truth to it.

It’s been nearly two months. As everyone has assured us it would, time has helped. Things are getting better. Slowly. Little by little I can feel a semblance of normalcy inching back into my life. There are still days when the grief hits hard, dousing me in a downpour of sorrow, often when I least expect it. But I’ve learned to embrace the sadness. To cry when I need to. And to laugh when it feels right.

My mother sent me this quote...

I found so much comfort and truth in this quote that my mother sent me in the weeks following our loss.

This holiday, while my heart still aches, I am extremely grateful. For Robert. For Wyatt. For my parents. For our friends. And I am grateful for the short time I got to spend with our daughter, Anabelle. I never had the chance to know her, yet she taught me so much: I feel closer now to the people I love the most in this world; I can admit when I’m feeling down, and I’m okay with it; I appreciate that nothing in life—especially the miracle of a healthy child—should ever be taken for granted; I understand the importance of offering up compassion when others are in need.

I reread my concept statement for The Lucky Ones the other day. In it, I write that my family’s story is defined by an extraordinary will to survive, by the fear of never seeing a loved one again, by the ability to laugh, to love and to find beauty in small moments—even in the face of destruction. Until now, I never fully grasped the meaning behind the words. I look forward to getting back to the book in the New Year, and I believe I’ll do so with newfound understanding, and perspective.

In the meantime, Robert and I will continue to grieve, to heal, to find beauty in small moments—and to hold a very special place in our hearts for Anabelle, whose budding branch on our family tree will never be forgotten.

XXXX

This spring, Robert and I will dedicate a bench in Anabelle’s honor beside one of our favorite lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard; the inscription will read: Anabelle Edith Farinholt – May Your Spirit Forever Shine.

East Chop Benches

It feels good to know that we – and others – will always be able to enjoy the view and take in the surrounding serenity from Anabelle’s bench.