Last Night

Dear Livy,

I didn’t realize how much I really missed you, till I held you.

I woke up and looked at my phone. It was 1:12am. I fell back to sleep almost immediately and then you were there. Great Aunt D and I were in a living room. Not ours and not one that I know. You were scooting along the floor as happy as ever.

I took one look at Diane and began crying my eyes out, (I literally woke up with a set of swollen eyes). It was you! I was so happy to see you. You were beside a set of full length blinds and they accidentally hit your head as they closed. You saw me and then made your way towards me.

You came and sat on my lap. Side ways, just like you always did. Your head laid on my right shoulder and your feet rested off the left side of my legs. You were so comfortable and it felt just right. I held your head and tummy tight against my body. Giving you all the love and comfort possible. I gave you the reassurance you needed and you gave me the love I’ve missed so much. I couldn’t get enough of you.

I didn’t want it to end.

Grief isn’t a bad word, but it’s the topic no one ever wants to talk about. It’s the second chapter after loss. Shock mixed with a little denial was what I refer to as my first chapter. It hurts. It hurts really, really bad and what makes it the hardest is the constant feeling of loneliness. Very few people understand. People who haven’t experienced loss to this degree seem to believe that time heals, but it doesn’t. I work incredibly hard to not let my grief show on a daily basis. I’ve come to realize that being in a “bad mood” is more acceptable than explaining to people that this is grief. It comes, goes and slaps me the face whenever I think I can control it.

I often let myself come undone during the weekends. It’s what I call my self-care time. When I need to, I let it out, but rarely in front of others. I hide it because people don’t like it. It’s uncomfortable and no one ever knows how to respond when I explain I’m just having a shitty day. I find that it’s far easier to get through it by myself and pick up the pieces when I am able to move forward.

I never know what the triggers are going to be before they happen. Grief just rolls in and takes over when it wants to.

Sometime this morning after 1:12 it was Great Aunt D that told me it was time to go. I wanted to stay so bad, but she said we had to leave. Suddenly you were no longer on my lap. I was alone. Crying again like I was when I first noticed you in the room. I wanted nothing more then to stay with you, but was struggling to also figure out how I could have Sage at the same time. Was this a near death experience! What was it?

The other two dreams were different. We had never touched before. That had made everything different, this time. This was the first time I was torn between you and your brother. I hated it, but was trying really hard to figure out a way to make it work.

Leaving you made me so angry, again.

I had no idea how much I truly missed you till I held you in my arms last night.

I miss you beyond belief.



3 thoughts on “Last Night

  1. Julie says:

    Hi Chris,
    You are right! No one can know your pain unless they have lost a child. Imagining the loss isn’t possible. So totally different than the passing of a parent. It is hard for me to realize that Livy is gone until I see a picture of her sweet face. I do believe our loved ones do visit from time to time when we need them to. Livy was letting you know she is near.


  2. sgelardin says:

    Both of you are right. As Livy’s grandmother, I feel her loss all the time, but I cannot begin to comprehend your loss of your daughter. You will be with your daughter when the time is right, but now Sage needs you. He loves his Mama and always wants to bring you a present when he returns home. He is also processing Livy’s death frequently, seeing her as a butterfly, flying around, sometimes near and sometimes far. Zane can’t be compared to Livy, but eventually Zane’s passing will be another loss for your family, especially for Sage. June 14 I shall be facilitating the movie HACHICO at the Corte Madera Intergenerational Center. It’s about a faithful dog, with themes of love, loss, and loyalty. A high school boy (Andrew Le) proposed the movie showing. He will bring his dog, the same breed at Hachico (the story is based on a real dog names Hachico in Japan).


  3. Sally Gelardin says:

    Julie’s right. We cannot know your pain. We can just listen. Sage sees Livy as a butterfly every time he visits us. He knows she is nearby.


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