A year. It’s been a whole year. That seems impossible, but if I’m honest, it seems like it’s been even longer.
There was a post on Glow in the Woods the other day that summed up this process so beautifully.
And sometimes I start to wonder whether my own gut feeling, that this grief is not something I will ever forget or get over, but something I slowly get better at living with, whether this way of looking at things is not right, whether we should, at some point, just be fine already. I am, though. I am fine. And yet, I am also grieving. And listening to everyone in the group, everyone who is a bit ahead of us, and everyone who is waaaay ahead, in the end that felt like a permission slip– yes, grief is like that, and it is ok to sit with it, now and whenever. Grief is like this because love is like this, and in the end it is still very simple– we love them, and they are dead.
I am fine, and yet, I am also grieving. I think in some ways that will simply always be true. When an adult dies, you have memories. Stories. What he liked, what she hated, that perfect afternoon you spent together – things to reflect back on, reminisce about. When a child dies, especially when a baby dies, there are no stories. Our daughter existed only inside of me, and then she was gone. I don’t know what her favorite food would have been, her first word, if she would have preferred girls or boys. Would she have been smart, or funny, or loved to dance. Would she have…that’s all there is. A lifetime of what-ifs and might-haves and family photos that will always be missing someone, every single time.
Those are the things that still get me. It can be anywhere, any time – I’ll see a little girl and think of Amy. She’ll never have a birthday party. Never play on the beach. Never have a first kiss, go to prom, find her first grown-up apartment. And no matter how many more children we end up having, no matter where we go, or what we do, she’ll never be in the picture. The pictures we have of her are the only ones we’ll ever get.
And it’s been hard, being pregnant again, to think much about Amy. Inevitably we do, but once I got into the second trimester, if I thought too much about what happened I was paralyzed with fear that it would all just happen again. Night after night, I’d dream about dead babies. I had to kind of put her on a shelf, as terrible as it sounds, knowing always I’d come back later. Now that we’re finally out of the worst woods, I can take her box down again, look at her pictures, remember without fearing for her brother’s life, too.
And I don’t even know what to call this day. Today would have been your birthday, if you had lived. But then, if today wasn’t your birthday, you might very well have lived. The very wrongness of the date was always the problem. I will hold forever in my mind the terror I finally felt when I filled out that check-in form – Today’s date: 3/30/12. Due date:7/26/12. Right next to each other, so obviously wrong, wrong, wrong. I’m so, so sorry. I wish I could go back in time and change it, but April 3rd is unfortunately your birthday, forever. It feels like there should be more to do than write a blog post and remember, but. But, but, but.
One year. We both still love and miss you terribly.