By Jenny Hander

One of the greatest tragedies in losing a baby is that you don’t get the chance to form enough memories to carry you through a lifetime of living without them. It isn’t that you forget to remember; it is that you don’t have many memories to recall.

Though I think of my sweet daughter every day, there are some days I feel as though I created her in my own mind. I ask myself, “Was she ever really here?” I know that she was, but she was here such a short time and so much time has now passed without her, that it sometimes seems like a dream.

But every now and then, something will happen to help reaffirm to me that her short, sweet little life was real. For instance, I recently heard someone say the name “Alyssa.” I thought to myself, “Oh, how I really love that name.” And then it hit me-I had a daughter with the same name. I have a daughter named Alysa.   And today, as I read of another family who recently lost a daughter at just 6 days old, I know for sure that the life of their daughter was real. And so I am reminded again that my daughter’s life, though tragically short, did really exist.

I love the moments when I am able to realize that Alysa is real. Though she is no longer with me in the physical form, she will always be with me spiritually. Alysa is still my daughter; she just lives someplace else. Alysa lives in a more wonderful home than I could have ever prepared for her here on this Earth. She is alive and well, shining down on us from Heaven.

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