When both girls were born I wrote a prayer for each of them. One thing I have always tried to keep in mind, even as they came into this world, was that I did not own them. Some parents think of children as possessions to be controlled, to be turned into mini-Me’s, to live out our unfulfilled dreams. I tried to think of them as their own souls who were entrusted to us for as long as they needed us. My job was to be the teacher and guide since my soul had come into this incarnation earlier, but they were always my equal. Kids are on loan to us for as long as they need us, then their lives are their own to live.
However, when your child is still a minor, it’s so easy to take ownership of her. One of the reasons the loss of a child is so different from any other loss is you feel you have lost something/someone that belongs to you. Shayna was still my responsibility. I was still guiding her. And that guidance between a parent and a child doesn’t go away at the age of 18, by the way. Ty and I are both still working on letting go of Kayla (who still needs us more than she would like to admit).
It’s really difficult to wrap my ahead around how suddenly, literally overnight, Shayna doesn’t need me anymore. I want to still be her Daddy. I want to still guide her, to comfort her, to teach her, to share the wonders of the world with her. I’ve been trying to fathom what it’s like when a child passes. I’ve read that they immediately receive an amazing amount of knowledge and understanding, but I’ve also read that they continue to “grow up” in heaven. I don’t know.
I will never let go of Shayna. I will never stop loving her, which means I will never stop grieving her. Grief is love of a person that you no longer have with you. I do however, have to come to grips with the fact that she is OK and doesn’t need me anymore. I did my job while she was here, but that job is over. That’s a tough one.