I’m sitting somewhere between how did I get here and where do I go next. I’ve come to know this place as part of my life. It’s what I refer to as my healing journey. It keeps me waking up and moving forward….sometimes. If there is one thing grief has taught me, it is that “trying” post loss means everything, everyday. It’s what I do and I have nothing to lose compared to what I’ve been through.
I did really well during the holiday season. I sucked it up and made myself enjoy everything I could. I worked up to it. I did it for your brother, your dad, myself and for you. I cried, but I got through it. It sounds silly, but I thought about how much you despised opening gifts. The texture and sounds of the ripping and crumpling of paper would always get you thoroughly upset, and by the end we’d both be frustrated from the entire process. Me trying to teach you to deal with it and you trying to teach me about aversion. To get through it I told myself that you were thankful to not be tortured by the present crap anymore and that you were content knowing that Sage loved it and that I was no longer stressed about getting you to like it. Grief makes your mind come up with a variety of tricks to get through the hard times. Mind control is one of the best grief tool I have, but it also has pitfalls.
Reliving the day you passed away, (the anniversary date), smacked me in the face and took me back to my weakest point. I’ve been feeling angry, agitated and cheated for weeks. It’s terrible to say this to you, but I’m pissed off! I was hanging in there until December 30th came. Before it arrived I had this idea that I could organize some sort of small gathering of family and close friends at our house. I wanted to do something in memory of you on what should be your 6th birthday…but I cant. I thought I could do it, but I’m still not strong enough to pull it off. Celebrating still feels very wrong. In fact it seems heartless. That’s how I know my grief is still at it’s early stages. I don’t want your birthday to be a day or weekend full of tears and emptiness. I want it to be a day of reflection and happy memories that I can be thankful for and cherish. All of which I can do with Sage and your dad, this year.
The letters and cards that we received from people who remembered the date of your passing were appreciated. They weren’t easy to read, but they made me feel less alone. Even the ones that came from the hospital and organ donation people.
Healing takes time. I’ve heard it over and over again and I agree. I have become a pro at hiding my pain. It’s the grief arm of the octopus scale that controls the balance of my life. Maybe December 30 – February 3 will forever be the most difficult time of the year for me, maybe it will change. It doesn’t matter. All I truly know is that I miss my baby girl.
They say the cold and flu season is worst than ever this year. May that’s why I’m struggling so much. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around this year being worse than it was during your cold and flu hospital stays in 2015 and 16, but then again I didn’t even know you had a virus during your last and final stay. Your brother has been sick twice this month. It stresses me out. It’s a constant reminder of how serious a cold or flu can become and what it can result in. It’s the kind of reminder I could go without.
I love you with all my heart and I’m sorry that I couldn’t keep you here longer. I hate it. You were doing so well. Everyday I think back and go through the minutes, hours and days that played out. I think a lot about what else I could have done to keep you here longer. It’s who I am, I can’t help it.
Grief is complicated. For me, expressing myself through letters takes away some of the pain that builds up in my mind and heart.
Happy early birthday, Livy. I miss you.