Losing a child is every bit as bad as you can imagine it would be. For the first few weeks I felt like there was something physically missing from my body (I pictured myself as a "chiminea"). We felt devastated when Hope was diagnosed with leukemia, but this was 100 times worse. Life will never be the same. I doubt I will ever say "things will work out" again. There are no guarantees in life.
We have been overwhelmed by all the cards, letters, and memorials given in Hope's honor to numerous children's organizations. We know of schools that have raised money in Hope's honor for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The school that Navy attends (and that Hope was scheduled to start at) is putting in a memorial garden for Hope, and our neighborhood is collecting donations to buy a park bench and plaque for the neighborhood playground.
As much as we miss Hope, we are enduring. We are comforted by our family, friends and faith. Life is going on whether we're a part of it or not. Navy will not let us waste her childhood with our own self-pity. As I write this four months after her death, I have begun to think that we were blessed to have ever had such a child at all. The three years we had with her were a gift from God, and given the chance to do it again, knowing it would all happen over, we would still do it again.