Two years ago today, I gave birth to a perfect little girl. Under different circumstances, today might be the day that we celebrated the miracles of modern medicine and everything it had brought us, but instead I just wonder what to call this day. Her birthday. Her anniversary. I’m pretty sure a death day isn’t a thing, and if it were, who would celebrate with you?
And a big part of me feels a little crazy for still caring so much. About the day, I mean. Dan says, it’s just another day, I live with this every day, and it’s true. For even our nearest and dearest, as far as I know, April 3 is not a date that looms large and terrifying on the calendar.
Not me, though. Almost as soon as spring arrived, I felt it – a sense of foreboding, and a crankiness I never quite seem to shake. “What’s wrong with you,” my husband asked me, quite reasonably after the 5th times I’ve snapped at him or had a minor freakout about basic baby care. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.
And then, the answer, plain as day – spring. March. The last two springs have brought with them unpleasant surprises and hardships. Two springs, barely registered, let alone enjoyed. One spent mourning a dead child and the next spent trapped in bed trying to keep a new child alive. I used to love spring; now I dread it.
So I dove headfirst into trying to overcome the dread, mostly through distraction and enjoyment of what is now ours. Long walks on our own land with our wonderful, alive son, who is so funny and more and more mobile and interactive every day. And the way he looks at us and grins like we are the best people in the whole world.
And Amy is dead today, and tomorrow, and every day forevermore, Amy is gone, our daughter, deceased. Really never even started. But I can’t seem to help noticing the absence more, right now. Emily made a really lovely post on her Aidan’s two year anniversary that resonates with me, about the impact of his existence and his death and how losing him has brought positives as well as negatives. And about the hole. But the thing that for me feels different is that my hole seems a lot like an abyss these days, one I simply try to avoid looking in too deeply, lest I lose myself in it. It’s easy to see how a person could look into that abyss and start crying and never stop, and I want to enjoy the lessons Amy’s taught us and the lessons her little brother is teaching us daily and so I mostly just take quick peeks, here and there. A wave, to our daughter, and then, think of something else. But this time of year, the abyss seems particularly…present. And no matter what I’m doing, my thoughts turn to Amy. Other little girls of friends due when we were are walking and talking and growing up, and Amy never will. Our daughter is dead, and I know it’s true every day, but April 3rd just really seems to bring it home, for me.
I’ll love and miss you always.