I recently had a conversation with some precious, sweet friends who had the impression that giving Jenna a birthday party would be a difficult thing for me. They thought that it would open the door to feelings of grief and sadness on that day. They think I am tormenting myself unnecessarily and that it is understandable having a party now since my grief is so fresh, but that it probably isn’t advisable for me to continue celebrating Jenna like this in the future. I tried to explain to them, and I don’t know how successful I was, that simply doing nothing for Jenna on that day would be infinitely harder.
Not doing something tangible for Jenna would be more tormenting for me at this point.
I love my girlie girl. The fact that she has left us to go and be with Jesus does not take that love away. Love is a verb and it always seeks expression. God loved the world so much that he gave…
I love my muffin so much that I want to give something, DO something to show it. Since I can’t hug her and kiss her and shower her with presents I want to do the next best thing: surround myself with some of my best friends and have a fun day in her memory. I might be proved wrong, but I don’t envision many tears on that day at all. (In my experience, the tears will probably come a few days prior, as I anticipate Jenna’s first birthday without us. But on the actual day, the grace of God will carry me though.) We will have a cake and balloons for Jenna and we will send her some love in the form of birthday cards, but we will not mope around and entertain morbid thoughts about what could have been. We know she is with Jesus and that she is happy.
We are going to rejoice in the precious little princess that Jesus gave us, and we are going to express our love for her in a tangible way. We would do it if she were here, why not do it for her still?
My middle son made a comment to me the other day at the cemetery that I felt was very true. “I always feel so at peace here, mom,” he said. I feel that way too. Somehow I can sit there next to her grave and rest in the fact that she is with Jesus. I feel close to her, and to Him, there. Cutting the tall grass around Jenna’s grave and arranging her flowers and trinkets around it is therapy for me. It’s a mommy thing to want to do something for our children and making Jenna’s grave look pretty is one thing I can do for her. I think it makes her smile as she looks down from heaven and sees that her mommy has not forgotten her.
Perhaps the day will come when I will no longer need these tangible expressions of my love for Jenna.
Where I will just be able to love her quietly in my heart. I am not sure I want that day to come though. In the Christmasses to come I think we may find more joy in hanging a special ornament on the tree for her, or stuffing a stocking full of ‘love-notes’ than doing nothing at all. As a family, we will always know that one of us is missing on special occasions like these. I think filling that void with a special token of love might be akin to “putting on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”.
Remembering Jenna fondly and with joy is something I hope I will be able to do for the rest of my life. I don’t want people to think I am holding onto my grief just because I choose to continue loving my little girl. Love comes from God himself and my love for Jenna cannot be severed, even though our earthly relationship was. I find much more healing in allowing my love for Jenna to flow out in tangible expressions as opposed to throwing up walls around my heart and keeping my thoughts and feelings inside.