Yesterday marked three years since I went into early labor and lost my baby girl. I struggled with how to mark the day, mostly because instead of a day of acute sadness, it felt like any other day. Maybe because it was a Sunday, and not a Wednesday. Maybe because it was 65 degrees out at a time of year that usually means subzero temperatures around here. Maybe because I am so utterly immersed in the life I thought I had lost, that all of the grief I felt on that day in 2012 is no longer there. My grief over the loss of motherhood, and all of its details, no longer applies. I have that life.
But I don’t ever get to know who my other little girl might have been. I won’t ever have the memories of her soft baby skin, her little wiggling toes, her first steps, her favorite foods. I won’t ever stop wondering who that little person might have been.
A big part of my guilt yesterday was about how things “look”. How would it look if a mother did not go to her child’s grave on that day and weep? How would it look if I did not decorate the site for Christmas? Etc. But when I think of that baby’s spirit, I feel strongly that the best way I could honor its fleeting presence in my life was to do just what I did: enjoy every second of the day as a mother.
My sister and I took our kids to meet Santa, they decorated Christmas ornaments with enormous piles of glitter glue, and we all snuggled on the couch to watch Polar Express. I delighted in every tradition, every hilarious moment, every time M clapped her hands in excitement during the movie. I savored the minutes that I peeled her sleepy body out of the car and carried her to bed. I relished in everything motherhood, but I did not stand over a grave.
There is, after all, only comfort there for me, when I need to seek it. My other daughter left me years ago, when M came into my life forever. She left me as she found me: a mother eager to love her daughter.
One thought on “three years”
It sounds like you are living in the present and respecting the past. You don’t need to mourn the same as you used to or the same as anyone else.