Christmas is coming up fast. In less than two weeks it will be your favorite time of the year, the time for presents, for endless desserts, for “bird” (Cornish game hens). A few weeks ago I ran across an email from you from a few years ago where you outlined your Christmas wishes in great detail. I miss that already. You always knew just what you wanted. And, then your birthday just three weeks after Christmas. In this dreary, sun-less time of year you were always a ray of sunshine, Shayna. Long after I became jaded with Christmas, you remained enthusiastic and joyful in child-like wonder bringing that wonder back to me.
I know you’re still here with us. I can feel you sometimes. There are times when I think if I just turn around you’re there. I’m sorry that when you come close I get sad and cry. I know that must be frustrating for you. I’ve been told that it’s difficult for direct communication between us when your presence brings sadness, but know that the sadness is worth it. Just to feel close to you again is worth it even if it brings tears. I’m trying to get over that, but it’s going to take some time. I know you told the medium that you acted brave even when you didn’t feel brave, even when you were scared. Well, me too. I know you probably thought I was an impervious rock when you were here, but now that you know me better, now that we are closer than ever, you know I’m a scared little kid, just like you were. So, keep coming around, please. The signs you have been sending are very helpful.
I’m working on gratitude. I’m working on trying to understand why you had to go so soon. I am grateful for a lot though Shayna. I think of the day you were born often; especially so with your 16th birthday coming up in a few weeks. I think of how your heart rate kept dropping during labor and how I thought we might not even get to meet you. I try to think of the 15-½ years we had together as bonus time because we could have lost you then. Was that your first exit point? Thanks for not taking it. I think of the lessons you taught me. The first one was that love is not limited. After Kayla I never thought I could love anyone as much as I loved her. I knew no child could be better than Kayla. I thought love was a thing that we each only had a certain amount of and there was no way my heart could expand enough to let you in. Boy was I wrong. I love you every bit as much as Kayla. And, the really cool thing is in a different way. Your spontaneity, your joie de vivre, your tenacity – you brought your own special qualities to our family. I learned so much from watching how you approached life, always meeting it head on, taking in stride whatever it threw at you and just enjoying the experience. I think about that often and I’m filled with gratitude.
When you were here, you would ask Ty why she (and me I guess) told you so often that we loved you. Maybe now you know, Shayna. Our love for you will never die. In fact, it’s grown stronger. I wish I could feel you with me more often, but I know you’re here. I know you hear me tell you I love you. And I’m telling you more often because I know when you’re on my mind and I tell you, you can hear me. I hope that one day I’ll be better able to sense you, but in the meantime I know you’re still with me and that’s got to be good enough for now.
I think about the way you passed, Shayna. It’s so hard to believe that day really happened. I still wake up sometime thinking it just can’t be true. But, I don’t know how it could have been any better. Saying good-bye to you would have been impossible to do. I know it would have been hard for you. I’m grateful you didn’t have to endure that. I’m grateful that you lived full out right up the very last day here. No good-byes. That’s OK. We said all we needed to say.
Your passing was the end of a life for me. But, what it’s made me realize is we all have many lives inside this thing we call a life. There are passings all the time that mark the end of one thing and the beginning of another. This post-physical Shayna life is a life I would not have chosen. Remembering your birth, marking when you came into the world and into my life has brought me joy for many years and will continue to bring me joy as long as I’m here . Remembering your leaving… Well, that’s not something I thought I’d ever have to face. There is a lesson even in that though. I now know that, like you, I can endure whatever I need to endure. I would have never thought I’d still be sitting here six months after you left. And while this life will never be the same, it’s forever been altered, I know this life is just one of many we have shared and probably will share together. I say probably will share because at this point, I’m not so keen on doing this again. And given the hard time you had adjusting to being back in the flesh, I’m not sure you’re going to either. This earth plane isn’t the place for people like us. Let’s agree not to do this again, OK?
Thank you for the time you spent with us Shayna. I am so proud to have been your father while you were here. I hope I’m making you proud now. I hope I’m still putting a smile on your face. Every day is tough. It’s one day further from having had seen you and I have this (irrational) fear you will fade from my memory. That’s why I don’t want to go on. I don’t want to ever let you fade from my memory or my life. But every day is one day closer to seeing you again. I take comfort in knowing even though the road ahead is scary, any possible path I take leads back to you. I cannot fail. I don’t know what pitfalls lie ahead, but I know they’re there. There’s going to be more pain, more heartache, more failures. But, all of that is temporary as you now know better than I. So, I’ll see you soon sweet pea.