Tomorrow I’m leading Children’s Church – something I seldom volunteer for since Leah died. This morning I was scouring the house for our Veggietales DVD collection to use one of them in Children’s Church, when it occurred to me that some of them might be in Leah’s bedroom. As I was searching through Leah’s possessions, I found myself lingering, reminiscing, and grieving.
Sometimes people ask me whether it gets easier as time goes on? I’m not sure if the pain of child loss ever gets any less. What has changed as time goes on is my ability to deal with the pain. I’m gradually learning some coping strategies that enable me to live with the pain of child loss, so that I can, by God’s grace, live a relatively normal life most of the time.
There are some of Leah’s belongings that I haven’t looked through at all since she died. Today, while going through a few of those, I came across a booklet that she had received at Girl’s Brigade called ‘Spiritual Sparkles‘.
I know that being a part of Girl’s Brigade was really important to Leah and that she would probably have read this booklet from cover to cover. I found myself glancing through it as I thought about my daughter. My attention was suddenly gripped by this page:
The ‘secret post-iter‘! That’s where she got the idea from! Leah was well known for writing encouraging notes on post-its and leaving them for others to read. In March 2013 Leah introduced this concept at the LOST outreach weekend for young people in Limavady.
Before we left Sam’s House in Bristol in October 2013, I was dispatched to the shops to buy her a packet of post-it notes. Afterwards one of our friends posted this on Facebook:
After Leah died our eldest daughter Rachel showed me this post-it that Leah had stuck on her bedroom mirror:
Leah also had lots of post-its stuck up around her own bedroom to encourage her as she recovered from her bone marrow transplant and battled GvHD (graft vs host disease). She struggled with the very unpleasant side-effects of high dose steroid therapy and chemotherapy hair loss and she needed all the encouragement she could find:
I miss Leah’s little notes; every time I do a clear out I find some little card or note of encouragement that I received from her over the years. I cry for what I have lost, I thank God for what I have had and I carefully place each note or card in a Memory Box.
I think the idea behind Operation Beautiful is really worthwhile. Their website explains their purpose:
The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other people to find. The point is that WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough… just the way you are!
I know that Leah was very concerned about the many negative messages that young people are getting and the effect that this is having on their self image and their self esteem. I can see why this simple concept would have really appealed to her. I think that it’s a lovely idea.