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A Letter to My Daughter Who We Lost Too Soon

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Editor's Note

The following article contains details about child loss and sexual assault that may be triggering.

Rain, my daughter:

I have a lot  I want to say to you and it’s clear to me how to start… I love you and I am sorry for what happened to you. You came into being from an act of violence and cruelty that marked me profoundly. For a long time, my feelings about that act were tangled up with my feelings about you. I am sorry for that. I was wrong. I am also sorry for how short your life was. You never had the chance to live outside of me. You deserved a full lifetime and I could not give that to you. When you were born, I did not allow myself to hold you. I’m so sorry. I did not know then what I now know. I saw you though, and I will hold that memory in my heart forever. You were beautiful. I did the best I could in a very difficult situation, but I am still sorry for what happened. I wish I could have done better, been a better mother to you. I’m so sorry and I hope you can forgive me. I love you.

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When you started growing in me, I was terrified and completely debilitated by that fear. I could barely even acknowledge to myself that you existed. But then you started moving within me and I felt connected to you. I was not alone anymore. You brought me pure light in my darkness and I will always be grateful to you for that. Feeling you kick and move inside me is still one of the best feelings I have ever known, both physically and emotionally. Thank you.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how you would have been loved by so many and how naturally you would have fit with my family. You have an aunt who would have been crazy about you and so thrilled to have a niece. I imagine that she would have helped me raise you. Your uncle would be quieter about his love for you, but he would’ve shown it in so many ways. You could’ve gone to him for anything. And you have four cousins! I get so much joy thinking about you sharing your childhood with them. I have a challenging relationship with your grandparents, but I know their love you would have been unconditional.

I would like to have a wife and kids someday, but I need you to know that no one else who comes into my life later will ever replace you. You are my daughter, my first child. Whatever family I have will know about you and know the profound impact you had on me. You will not ever be forgotten.

I feel like my words are not enough to express what I feel. Nevertheless, I hope you understand that I love you deeply and I am so sorry for everything. You are my daughter and I am your mother. You are in my soul and my heart for as long as I live, my light in the darkness. You are part of me for always. I love you, Rain.

Getty image by LUMEZIA

Originally published: October 18, 2021
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