Ten years ago, I spent my day in complete denial.
I spent the day posted at the bedside of someone who never made it on national TV. I spent the day cuddled up beside a small person the world knew nothing about. A person who didn’t change the hearts of thousands, or stir up emotions in millions. She was what most would call just another number, another drop in the bucket, another one of the seemingly endless statistics.
But she meant the world and more to me.
I don’t know why ten seems like such a monumental number. Like I have reached the top of the summit I have been scaling and can finally breath. As if ten is the magic number that will somehow make everything ok again. As if ten, the number, in and of itself -has something to offer.
When in truth, it doesn’t. Ten doesn’t mean anything different. The year doesn’t mean everything will suddenly change, or that things will somehow, forever and always be ok.
Nine years ago, I spent the day waiting in anticipation for the magical release.
The approaching of ‘the day’ was agonizing. Waiting in anticipation for the calendar to turn over another day, and somehow release me from the pain was almost more than I could take, and while the day itself was not that difficult – the days following, were. Because there was no magic release. There was no cure. There was no magic ok. All there was to look forward to were many more days, many more years, and many more unbearable moments where life seemed like the worst kind of torture possible.
Those were the only years that I had great expectations from.
The years in between were years I spent learning. Learning that there is no magic number that will make everything ok. Learning that some years are ok – and some years aren’t. Learning that life in and of itself is not all tragic, but there are some bumpy moments along the way. And learning that over the course of a long period of time, that intense, deep, burning from the very depths of your soul – will ease.
The pain that is felt when you lose a child, is a pain that cannot be explained. It is a hole that cannot be filled. An emptiness that will never be explained. And a wound that will never be completely, healed. Living life without the one you expect to be there, forever, is not something I ever expected to do. And trying to muddle my way through the murky waters was something I had no idea how to do, or why I should even bother doing it.
These past few years aren’t all years that I have been proud of.
While its true, that I wish I could go back just a little over ten years ago – and erase everything that happened and change the outcome, I can’t. While I wish I could trade places with my daughter, and let her experience life to its fullest, I can’t. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t have done to save her life.
But she isn’t here. And I am here.
I have made it ten years, doing the hardest thing I never though I could do.
While I would have chosen a different way of life, one that included my daughter, I can’t.
As we approach ten years, I am forced to realize that this is my life now. And outside of changing the tragic happenings of ten years ago – I wouldn’t change the rest.
I have lived through the unimaginable pain of loosing my daughter. I have fought to be where I am today, and while I am not proud of every moment -I am still here, despite loosing her. If I were able to say these past ten years were easy, it would mean that I didn’t struggle, I didn’t miss, I didn’t question. It would mean that I didn’t try every single road, avenue and option -before realizing that this was my life now. Without her. It would mean that I picked up and moved on with ease. When that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Its impossible to think that living after a loss as devastating as this, that life would be easy. To live life like nothing happened – would be to live life as if she didn’t exist.
As hard as it has been, I would rather live knowing that she was a part of my life, and embrace the pain and sorrow as a small reminder of someone who made my life just that much better -than to forgo the pain, and forget her.
Despite the pain, and sorrow -I have managed to make it ten years, and have come out with a better appreciation for life, and deeper love for those around me. I still miss her, but ten years in I am able to say that deep burning from unexplainable depths -has eased. It will never be completely erased, but I have chosen to go on smiling, loving and laughing -as I imagine she would have done, if given the chance.
I still miss you little one, and love you with everything I have -please don’t forget.