Since December 2013, one of the aspirations that I cling onto is to make Anya's legacy a net positive: bringing more good than bad to the world. And it has.
It's heartwarming to reflect on the relationships she has strengthened, on the friendships she has reinforced, and on the people she has helped through their own journeys with this blog.
Unfortunately, it has not been universal. One of the risks in being as open as we have been is that it can open wounds that others may not be ready or able to face. The following is part of a message I received from a family member in early December 2015:
"Understand that I cannot feel what you emotionally feel towards those images. To me, these images are akin to folks that shame women who have had abortions with dead baby photos. (...) I find them harmful for my own mental health (...) dead baby photos are unkind to me and my trauma"
This exchange came after I had expressed my... frustrations (to put it mildly) to this family member about being disrespectful to Anya's legacy by insisting that photos of her be covered up, or taken out of sight when she was there. I have often questioned whether I was wrong to fight for my daughter in this case - should the living not come before the dead?
Or does being a parent trump other relationships, even through death? Should I prioritize Anya's legacy, if memories of her might be harmful to some who have experienced different hardships?
I wish there was an easy answer to this question.
Ultimately I can only do what feels right, and fighting for her has always felt right. Even if I regret this particular outcome.
Sometimes there are simply no perfect solutions. That's life.