Since Vivienne died, I’ve read many books about loss. I guess when you’re on a quest to find meaning and answers, you look everywhere in the hopes that you’ll find a glimmer of something. A few months ago, I read a book called Choosing to See. I remember finishing it and my husband asking me “did it help?” As with most books I’ve read, there are parts that are helpful and there are parts that aren’t. What I didn’t realize then is that maybe these messages stick with me and become important when they need to be.
The book deals with the author losing her daughter in a tragic accident. She mentions several times throughout the book about “choosing to see”—seeing messages and meaning from her daughter everywhere if she just opened herself up and chose to see them. I chalked it up to the fact that her daughter was a little older when she died (she was 5), so she had more memories to draw from. I’m learning now that I just wasn’t ready for that message when I read her book. Lately, I’ve been opening my eyes more and choosing to see, and I’m finding that Vivienne is everywhere.
I told the story of the butterfly who visited me on Mother’s Day. That was really my first moment of feeling a strong message from Vivienne. It gave me such peace and hope. Since then, I’ve been keeping my eyes and ears open to feel that again.
I see her everywhere now. I’ll look up to the sky and see one particular cloud, and I can feel her peering over the side to look down and say hello. She’s in a ray of sunshine, a flower, and the birds chirping. I read in another loss Mom’s blog about how a breeze feels like a hug from her lost child. And now, I close my eyes and feel my daughter hug me every time a breeze goes by. I still cry because I wish the hug were real, but it’s something, and I’ll take whatever I can get.
A friend and fellow loss Mom told me a couple of weeks ago about hearing her daughter’s name. After she lost her daughter, whenever she heard a child called by the same name or saw her name somewhere, she smiled because she knew it was a message from Reese. Vivienne isn’t the most common name, so it’s not one I hear very often. Shortly after she died, we heard it once, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. We were watching the Emmy’s, and Melissa McCarthy was accepting her award. At the end of her speech, she looked at the camera and said “go to bed now Vivi” to her daughter. We both cried. Since then, I haven’t heard her name very much. But since this Mom told me how she hears her daughter’s name as messages, and since I’ve been choosing to see, I’ve seen and heard Vivienne’s name multiple times. I read it in People magazine where some semi-famous person had a daughter she named Vivienne, and I heard it on a TV show, where they said it over and over again. Each time, it made me smile.
I’ve written before about how the rainbow is Vivienne’s symbol, and how I look for rainbows everywhere. I still do, and I still hear them in songs and see pictures of them and think of Vivienne. But, I also think I was so focused on finding this rainbow to have some grand message from my daughter that I missed all of the everyday messages she was sending. But now, my eyes and ears are open, and she is sending me messages all of the time. I know that some day, she’ll send me a rainbow. I also now know that every day, she’ll send me a hug in the breeze and countless other little messages of love. And I hope that I see each one, and she feels my love right back.