The Dance


One of my favorite artists is Garth Brooks. He sings a great song called The Dance, in case you haven’t heard the song, here is the first verse and chores:

“Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you’d ever say goodbye
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d have to miss the dance”

This song has become an anthem to me when the pain of losing Emma gets too tough. I had 5.5 months with her, and sometimes I question if this pain, the pain of losing her was worth those few short months. If I had known I was going to lose her, would I have still wanted her? What would I have changed? Would I have chosen a different path? Could I have saved her?

I don’t know all the answers, but I do know this- having her is worth this pain. The physical pain of her birth pales in comparison to the emotional pain of her loss. The joys of her life softens the blow left by her death. I know that if she was never born, if I never saw those 2 little pink lines, if I never hear her laugh or saw her smile, then I would not be experiencing this pain. I know I would not feel the fear of the future or concern of other children in my life. I would not have days when I cannot stop crying or days when I do not want to get out of bed. But I would also have never experienced the joy of holding her, teaching her and watching her grow for 166 days.

I will not lie and pretend that there are not days when the pain out weighs the short time of joy. Recently I told my husband that I wanted to pretend that she never existed. I wanted to take her photos down and erase her from our past. My heart was too full, and I could not see past the pain. My heart wanted to hide, and mind wanted to shut down. I wanted to forget because I was hoping that if I could forget, then I wouldn’t feel the pain. But it doesn’t work that way. You cannot escape the past. You can only deal with it. And dealing with the loss of a child is a day by day journey.


A few days later, I found a tiny little Emma sock in the laundry mixed in with our adult socks. I sat and stared at that sock for about five minutes and thought about my little girl. I wondered how big her feet would be now, how long her hair would be or what color her eyes would be. I realized, no matter how hard I tried, I could never erase her from our past. She existed, and she left a permanent mark. She changed me, she changed my husband and our families. Her little sock made me realize the she was worth the pain and she would always be a part of our lives. I have two choices, I could hide and pretend that she was never here, or I could remember the good and live my life with her memory. I chose to live. She will be our angel who watches over us and her future siblings. I will do my best to honor her with my life.

Even if I knew I would lose her, I still would have chosen to have her. I could have missed this pain, but I would have miss the dance.

Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. -Psalms 30:5

3 thoughts on “The Dance

  1. This is beautiful, Jessica. Everyone experiences something that they struggle to see past, something they wished they had never encountered. It takes a lot of grit (and grace) to be able to find beauty in the middle of pain. Thank you for writing


  2. So beautiful and so sad at the same time. Thank you for sharing. My prayers are with you and Corey. You guys took amazing pictures. I have this little glass angel hanging from my RV window. I named her Emma Marie…I pray and ask Emma to take care of me when I’m on the highway. God bless you.


  3. Your story is beautiful I don’t know you but I came across your blog and it brought me to tears. I have downloaded the song it is beautiful as well. You’re very strong and I’m glad you have found your way through this through your writing. I am sure there are other people who will read this and may have had a loss of their child and it will help them.


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