I knew her before anyone else. I knew her since eternity.
It was just the two of us for 9 months.
During those months, I spoke to her and told her stories of the life she would live. I played classical music on my way to work every morning. I rested my hands on my growing belly and felt her move in response to the foods I ate, the music I played and my voice as I spoke to her. I whispered to her in the quiet hours and told her I that I loved her.
Our bond was unbreakable. Our love was fierce. We were soul mates.
For 4 1/2 beautiful years, our love grew. It grew higher than the sky and deeper than the ocean. Our love was the kind that could move mountains. Two souls, connected forever, completely in tune with each other.
And then, she left me.
My whole world was rocked to it’s core. The reverberations from the shock shot cracks through my heart, breaking it into pieces. Never to be the same.
She changed me, she changed a lot of people, really. She touched a lot of hearts. She looked deeply into a lot of souls. She was amazing. She was mine. She was ours.
She loved me and I loved her. My grief is unending. I am a different person without her.
It does not matter that she was only in my life for 4 1/2 years; that does not minimize my loss.
It does not matter that she was medically complex, and doctors thought she would die before she was six months old; that does not minimize my grief.
It does not matter that I lived with the fear of losing her, every day of our lives; that does not minimize the shock.
There are few people who understand that. Thank God.
I am one of few, I am a grieving parent. Any loss is difficult, but the loss of a child is not natural, children should outlive their parents. Thankfully, there aren’t many of us, because it isn’t the natural order of things. And, I am one of even fewer still, I lost my only child. That loss threw me into an abyss as wide as the universe, where, for a while, I drifted without direction or purpose, the fragments of my heart floating inside my body, huge voids between them.
The world goes on, and I have learned to go on with it, but I grieve every day. I am different, more complicated than I used to be. On the outside, I look okay. Some people even think that I have got it together.
The truth is, I am doing my best. I don’t necessarily have it together, but I’m trying. Some days, I think I am winning if I have made my bed. Other days, I am a chipper, organized, multi-tasking animal! Most days, I am somewhere in between.
I am not always the friend or family member that I am expected to be. I am broken. I am healing. I am scarred. In the depths of my soul and in between the cracks of my broken heart, I carry a piercing and powerful pain. Sometimes, that pain explodes and radiates through my entire being, rendering me useless.
I cannot “get over” this loss. To expect me to do so is preposterous. You can ask just about any grieving parent, and they would agree that it seems like the outside world has this expectation that we should “get over” our loss and move on with our lives. Here’s the thing, I can grieve AND I can move on with my life at the same time. It just may not be the way other people think I should be moving on.
Grief is not linear and it has no end. I am changed from this loss, forever. It does not dictate my life, but it gives me a radically different perspective than I had before. A perspective that most people will never truly understand. And that’s okay with me.
I cannot live up to the expectations of others, nor do I want to waste my precious time trying. What I can do is live my life the best I can, and that should be the only expectation anyone should ever have of me.
I carry her with me, always. She is my north star. She guides me in this journey. I have happiness and joy. I have pain and sorrow. She knows this and she comforts me with signs that help me to feel her ethereal presence. I am complicated, because each moment of my life has both light and dark, and I am doing my best as I navigate along this journey. Grace is what I need most, what I need to give to myself and what I need others to give me too.