Meet the McNeil Family

Meet the McNeil Family

Friday, December 18, 2015

The 18th

It has officially been one month. I know that at least for the next year the 18th of every month will be painful. A reminder on the calendar that another finite amount of time has passed and we are left here without our little girl.

My head and my heart are finally communicating about Waverly's death. And reality is beginning to set in. Last night I glimpsed an old photo of her and in an instant I was weeping. Wails from deep within myself that I last felt the day Wavey passed away. It was as if I was reliving the moment once again, yet feeling it more deeply than before.

In the last month:
I still have her red toothbrush in the holder. I simply haven't been able to throw it away.

Her room is much as it was, although some of her clothes have been gifted to dear friends.

Her little shoes have all been moved from the entryway and sit lined up on her closet shelf.

Her backpack is untouched and hanging on her door.

I've moved all of her hair ties into her bathroom drawer. It was too painful to see them constantly.

I miss her in a profound way. I am unable to find the words to articulate the depth of my sorrow. And then the strange ability to see Oliver and be overwhelmed with joy at this beautiful little boy bouncing around the family room because of a favorite Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode.

Grief is confusing. It is bewildering and disorienting. It is physically painful and exhausting. 

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“There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it.
It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve—even in pain—the authentic relationship. Furthermore, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

4 comments:

Christine Smith said...

Your honesty and openness is nothing short of breathtaking. In your pain you still have courage to share and affect others positively. How profoundly beautiful. Thank you so, so much.

Joanne Huff said...

Shannon, I come by daily to see how you are and also to simply be back in this space that was always, exclusively, Waverly and Oliver's. I look at pictures and am allowed to briefly step back in time. When I am here at your blog it is almost like Waverly is still here too. I cannot begin to imagine how hard this all is, but I am always here if you need someone to chat with....xx, Joanne

Gina G. said...

Shannon, I cannot begin to comprehend the depth of your loss and grief at this time. I pray that you and your family will remain strong and positive. Your strength is remarkable! I only hope I can be as half as strong as you are when my time comes around. I keep you in prayer!

Kim said...

That quote is so beautiful and perfect. Waverly is always in my memory and your family is in my continued prayers.