Wednesday, June 5, 2013

24 Days Each Summer

I cried on and off all day Sunday. I cried for a family I've never met.

Katherine's new friend from soccer has a big sister who suffers from San Filippo Syndrome. It's incurable. . . and progressive. . . and fatal.

On Sunday, Mike took Katherine to help her friend sell lemonade to raise money for San Filippo research. I stayed home and read about the syndrome online and cried.

Because I know what it's like to lose a child.

Because it's almost that time.

The 24 days each summer that are really hard for me.

On June 22, it will be twelve years since my daughter, Sarah, was born, and on July 15, it will be twelve years since she died. She only lived 24 days.

Every year I remember.

Every year I'm sad.

Whenever we lose someone we love, certain special days are harder than others. Birthdays. Anniversaries. I think it's a normal part of grief.

Sarah's little life was so short that the whole 24 days is like one event to me.

It's gotten better over time -- a lot better. It's not debilitating. Last year, one of the days -- I don't remember if it was the anniversary of her birth or the anniversary of her death -- passed before I knew it. I literally forgot to be sad that day. A few days later I realized my mistake and had to smile. A lot of healing has happened in my heart.

But still, I get a little nervous each year, anticipating those 24 days.

As they approach, I get uneasy.

That's just where I am, 12 years after the fact.

And I think that's OK.

Sharing today at Emily's blog.


  1. For what it's worth, I think that's okay, too.

    Coming to you via Emily's place. Sending you so much love as you anticipate remembering and feeling sorrow.

  2. visiting from's to seeing yourself smile more through the knowing of healing.

  3. Dear Dana,
    Hello! I am a reader of Emily's blog and came over here from there.
    Thank you for your post. I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. I really appreciate that you don't try to say something to try to make it all better. Thank you for writing. If you have a chance Isaiah 43:1-7 has been a comfort to me about how God is with me. I will pray for you.
    God bless you,

    1. Initially, I ended with some verses of Scripture. But in the end, I decided to leave it a little messy -- because that's how grief is. So often, I feel like we try to wrap everything up neatly because we're afraid that if we leave it messy, we're denying the power of God or something. But it's been my experience that while God walks through grief with me and is sufficient in every way, that doesn't mean that sad things cease to be sad.

  4. coming to you from emily's corner, and I wept here with you for a moment. imagine arms wrapped around you in the gentlest embrace.

    oh, how He loves.

  5. God has a way somehow of handing us a gift on those days that we forget! I started blogging on the birthday of our son who had passed away at age 24. It was a gift, because I had forgotten at first it was even his birthday. God gives us a new song in our heart! Each moment of those 24 days or 24 years was a gift from Him. I join with you in remembering your sweet daughter all 24 days this June 22nd. I don't know why, but I feel compelled to ask if you have written down the moments that filled that 24 days even though it was so short it seemed like an "event" in your life, each precious moment is your treasure chest of hope and healing. Love to you!

  6. I hadn't been here for awhile, but I just want to say thanks for sharing such vulnerability. You are brave and beautiful, Dana.

  7. oh Dana, yes, that's okay... it's more than okay. it shows you have peace that she is being taken care of by her heavenly father but oh, how it must hurt on those days when you miss her. and oh, how i ache for this family. it's just not fair. praying.

  8. So sorry for your loss! How wonderful that you can share this with us. It is so helpful to know that others have experienced this kind of pay. I lost a baby, but it was really early on in the pregnancy. I was electrocuted.

  9. I am stopping by from Emily's and aching with you and with the dear family facing such a hard walk and just aching over this broken old world.... longing for Heaven here tonight as I read your post. And praying for you as you move toward June 22 and July 15.

    1. Today, I found it a little weird that I would choose to share something so personal in such a public forum. And yet, in some ways it's less threatening to share something like this online than it is to share it face to face. And something told me that Emily's blog would be a good place to include this post. You ladies are godly and compassionate, and I so appreciate you stopping by to share encouraging words with me today.

  10. Oh Dana, grieving with you. Your story is so tender and fragile. Thank you for allowing us to hear your words of loss and healing. Love meeting you through Emily's place. Bless you in your healing journey.


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