When my daughter died at 37 weeks, my world came crashing down around me. The universe became a raw, emotional, sad place. Each day that I survived was a miracle and every moment that I lived and she didn’t, felt like a curse.
Shortly in the beginning of our healing process, I remember my husband saying that he wish he heard her cry. Just once. So that he would know what her voice sounded like.
Not me. I held her in my arms after I delivered her and together, we counted her fingers and toes. All there. All perfect. We touched her curly hair that looked just like mine. We kissed her beautiful face. That was about all I could bear.
If I heard her voice, would I ever un-hear it? Would I forever hear her cry when I closed my eyes?
She should be going into first grade this year. I should be buying her a new schoolbag and lunch box and worried about what bus she should be taking. I should be making play dates with her new classmates and talking to other moms about how we can’t believe our babies are six years old. But alas, mine is not.
She will only ever be as old as she was when I delivered her still.
Most days, six years later, I can handle that. I know that the time I had with my first daughter was a gift and that I would rather have that time than have had no time at all.
However, today, when it’s unseasonably cold and rainy, and I have no first grader to shop for, I am overwhelmed with sadness.
That’s the thing about grief. It sneaks up on you. It nearly smothers you.
Most people do not understand. And I do not want them, too. I should be “over it” by now. I have another daughter to raise and I should focus on her. And I do. Trust me, I do.
Every once in a while, though, my world slips out of focus for just a little bit, and I think about the things I will never know. And my heart breaks all over again.
Luckily, tomorrow is a new day with a new set of challenges, and I am almost certain I will feel better. My loss will linger, though. And that is OK. For her loss is a part of who I am. And who I will always be.