I've heard a lot of babylost mamas talk about how they sometimes get a sense of their lost children's presence around them, soothing and peaceful. Or they talk about how their dreams are filled with comforting visits from their children.
In the eight months since Eve died, I have not had such an experience. The only dreams I've had of her have been pure nightmare, or at best a reliving of her death and birth.
I have not felt comforted by her.
And really, I'm not sure that I want to. I believe that my daughter is safe with God. I believe that in Him, there is life after death. And while I don't know what that looks like, I believe that it is good.
So to feel that my daughter's spirit is visiting me? I'm not sure I would welcome that. If she's in Heaven, I want her to stay there, safe and whole.
But in the past couple of days, I've had some interesting experiences. I wouldn't call them visits from Eve, but more like glimpses of the future that might have been. They are both comforting and bittersweet, and I am treasuring them while they last.
Yesterday, for example, I was snuggled up in bed reading my Bible and praying. I was doing a good bit of crying, too, and I wondered what Jacob might think of this sort of behavior when he is old enough to be aware of it.
Then, clear as day, I could picture a child running down the hall into the room but pausing on its threshold when my tears became apparent. Not a boy, but a girl, maybe three feet tall. She asked what I was doing, and I told her. She seemed a bit perplexed, like she didn't quite understand but was tucking the exchange away into some pocket of her brain for later.
Was it a figment of my imagination? Probably. But there was such a richness and clarity to it that I can't help but clutch it close to my heart. It's easily something that would have happened with Eve, had she lived, and it's all I'll get to "know" of her in this life.
And another -- this morning, while driving to my doctor's appointment, I found myself wanting to reach an arm back to comfort a baby riding there. Only of course there was no baby in the backseat. It was such a strong instinct, though, that it makes me pause, and then makes me grieve all the more.
I don't know what these experiences are. Little glimpses of a future that almost was? Reassurance from God that my daughter is safe with Him? Or the pathetic imgaginings of a bereaved mother's brain? I like to think that they are not the last, although I am not comfortable in saying that they are visits from my daughter.
But they feel like something close. And whatever they are (or are not), I know one thing for certain -- they bring me a sort of muted joy. I hope that I will continue to have these glimpses. They aren't much, and probably aren't anything at all, really . . . but they are so much better than the devastating emptiness of the Eve-shaped hole in my life. So I'll take them, real or not.
Have you ever had similar little glimpses of what might have been?