I sometimes write about “Where I am right now” to centre myself. When life seems overwhelming and the grief starts to seem insurmountable again, I find solace in stepping back and re-evaluating how far I have come in my journey.
Everlee’s 5th birthday is creeping close. In those early days I couldn’t picture what life would be like in 5 hours, now here I am, half a decade from her. Half a decade away from kissing her sweet, perfect face. We should be excited about kinderstart and practicing French words at home. She should be holding up a little chalkboard sign describing her favorite things and wearing a sweet dress with bows in her hair.
My life will always have a movie running in the background of my mind, showing how things should be different. I always try to be stoic in my grief, giving no spoilers to my secret film. There’s a certain peace in being able to mention her name without biting back the tears. But every now and then I break. These last few weeks I have been broken. But time will move on. The hot pain will recede, the dull ache will take over and I’ll return to a place of being at peace with the hurt I live with. But for right now, I am broken, and I am consumed by how unfair it is that babies die and there is absolutely no justice in the loss.
She has two little brothers now. Two gorgeous boys who adore each other and are the best of friends. How would they interact? What would they like? Would Finnegan’s love of dolls be amplified by having his older sister with us? Would Seamus try to steal food from her plate and pull her hair? Little lives can’t be replaced. I always feel the sting when people call me a boy mom. I’m not. Not even close.
I feel like my grief makes people a lot more uncomfortable now, five years out. Like my sadness should have subsided and I should have made peace with her loss like it was just an event that happened and not an entire life that was lost. When I feel myself sliding backward into despair, I almost feel guilty like that isn’t supposed to happen anymore. And people aren’t really sure what to do with me. Handle with care? Tough love? Ignorance is bliss? I’m not really sure where to reach out when I need someone to fall into. I’ve long since abandoned the friendships that couldn’t withstand who I am now that I’m Everlee’s Mom, but I live in fear of exhausting those that have cared enough to love me in spite of the gaping hole in my existence. Sometimes I just feel so lost.
My heart may be healing, I may not be the same shattered person I was during those early days, but sweet girl I still miss you every single day and your little life, no matter how brief, still dictates every move I make. I miss you.