The entire “Holiday” season last year was so weird and warm. When I had Kenley, it was in the 70s- it was December. Today it’s mid May, low 50s, and rainy. Days like today are hard. It reminds me of what I will never have with her.
She will never be here dressed in one of the super warm sleepers that I spent hours shopping for. She will never get to use the blanket her grandma crocheted for her. She will never roll around on one of the quilts her great grandmas made for her. I never have to worry about her being cold because I know that all she knew was the warmth I provided her for 38 weeks and 4 days. The only way I was able to keep my baby warm; the only way I will ever be able to provide for her.
When your child dies, in my case my daughter, you lose not only that child, but the future. You lose the first tooth, the first skinned knee or broken bone. You lose holidays, birthdays, first crushes and subsequently first broken hearts. You lose dress shopping for prom. You lose watching them fall in love and meeting the boy who is never good enough for your daughter. You lose the good choices and the mistakes. You lose engagment, dress shopping, and the wedding.
You just lose it all.
Life after loss is…Weird? Confusing? Awful and Beautiful all at the same time? Time seems to stand still, but then you realize in 3 days that your daughter will be dead for 5 months. FIVE MONTHS. Wait, what? I’m still grieving; I’m still living this fucked up nightmare. How is time continuing without me…without her? It is impossibly hard to watch the seasons change and realize that she will never hear the birds chirp, or feel the warmth of the sun on her face.
It’s even harder to realize that life has to go on. People move forward with their life and what has happened to us becomes a sad memory. I don’t expect people to keep Kenley front and center in their brain, not at all. I realize that I do. She is my all day every day. I can’t change that; I don’t want to change that. There are times where she isn’t the forefront of it all (thank you Landon), but she’s there.
She has become me. I am her. I’m living my life for my dead child. She has changed me and shaped me in ways that I never thought possible; ways I never wanted to imagine in my deepest darkest fears. She gave me stretch marks on my ass and a weird new freckle near my belly button; Physical reminders. When she died, part of me, part of my soul, went with her. I am forever changed because of her.
She made me the mother I am today; The grieving mother. The mother of a stillborn. The mother that often hears “I cannot imagine what you’re going through/how you’re feeling”–Please try to. The mother who is learning how to function again. The mother trying to pick up the pieces of her broken heart.
She made me realize how much I could truly love another child. I loved her in a way I never thought possible; not more than Landon- but differently.
I love her as my daughter.