I pushed myself to smile and get through the day. I maneuvered my way through toxic attitudes and nastiness, but made it. I even went to a baseball game. Like most days, I reminded myself that grief is a lonely place and that many around me do not live in this space. Empathy is far and few in between. Dealing with such enormous loss is easier to ignore, but unhealthy for those experiencing it. I cope with my heartache through writing and storytelling. It’s what makes me feel like we’re still connected and that I had a daughter.
Lately I’ve been visiting your tree at school. We’ve taken family members by to see it and sometimes we just drive by because it makes us feel closer to you. Often times after the long ride home from work I visit on my own. Yesterday I got out of the van and stared through the gate. I swear I heard you giggling. I imagined you sitting in your happy place there in the playground piling bark onto the slide without a care in the world. So beautiful.
It’s been five hundred and seventy seven days since I held your hand. The pain is deeper then I ever thought possible, but it’s the happy memories, moments, hours and days we spent together that make me feel grateful to have had such an incredible opportunity to be your momma. You will forever be my dream come true baby. The daughter I always wanted.
Your brother turned 4 last month and everything that led up to that day, and everyday after, has increased my anxiety ten fold. I know nothing after 4. You were almost 5. Sage will be the same age as you were on May 6, 2019. I feel like so much will be different after that date. As if a new chapter of our family’s life will begin. Thinking about it puts my stomach in knots! My list of “where would be if Livy were here” questions will continue to grow. Is that better then the “what if” list that has consumed me since December 30,2016?
The seams of 2018 are much harder to keep together then they were last year. Year one of grieving was what I call my survival year. This year is keep my shit together. My game face is on and I’m doing my best to roll with the punches. There are a lot of them and there are days when I want to give up, but my support system of family, friends and colleagues won’t let me. That I am also grateful for.
It’s the sincere notes and comments with heartfelt thoughts about you that make me feel less alone. It’s times like that and having both Sage and your daddy on this journey with me that keep me rolling on.
Losing you and two of my greatest mentors in less than two years has been awful. I can only hope that the three of you are together, with so many others I love dearly, enjoying whatever it is that comes next.
I love you, Livy.