My sweetest Kenley,

Today you are three. Except you aren’t…but you are? You are three, wherever you are. You have been missed earth-side for 3 years.

Three years have passed since you were physically here. Three whole years since I held you in my arms.

I can’t believe it.

I was planning to write this huge wonderful birthday letter but honestly? Your momma’s heart is broken into a million pieces and I have no words.

I have said it a million times and I don’t think saying it again would make it any different. It changes nothing.

I miss you. I love you. I hope you know how much your life changed mine. I hope you see how important you are in our daily life. I hope you see all the good I try to do in your name.

You are so loved.

You are so missed.

Your life meant something and it always will.

I see your absence in your sisters presence. It is heart breaking to say the least.

I love you. I love you. I fucking love you more than life itself and I hope that you know that.

I wish I knew that you knew what you mean to me.

Happy Birthday, my beautiful daughter.

Mommy loves you.

its coming.

December is in full swing. It is cold, rainy, and snowy; It is full of familiar scents, sights, and sadness. Every year so far it has sort of fallen into my life like a ton of bricks. I know that it is coming because around Halloween I start to feel it in my bones. I feel physically ill with certain thoughts. It causes me to remember all of my pregnancy with Kenley in vivid depth and it is, quiet honestly, crippling.

I can’t fall apart, however, because my entire family relies on me. I am their everything; Mom, nurse, cook, chauffeur, coach, teacher. I handle it all, especially as Shane has been working 6 day work weeks since May. I am going through a lot with minimal help, and now the sadness of December is upon me. Somedays I don’t know how I manage to wake up and function.

Yesterday I sat down and was scrolling though my google photos for some reason. I always make damn sure to be super careful that I don’t go back too far. I never want to look back past Kenley’s birthday. There are contraction screen shots that make me want to cry when I see them because I should have gone to L&D and I didn’t because I didn’t want to inconvenience any of the medical staff the day after Christmas. My god. How stupid am I? Anyway, I sat down and was looking and I allowed myself to look at Kenley’s photos.

There were 2 live photos and they show me holding her, and rubbing her sweet face with my hand. I never knew they were live, so I cried incredibly hard. It was her. She was there in that moment with me, in a weird way. I know she was never alive, but she was here and that small 2 second snippet reminded me of that fact. I have her ashes, and her body is no longer here, BUT that photo showed me her physical being. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve been in my shoes, but it was nice to see them. I wish we would have taken video SO badly, but no one tells you that you should. No one tells you that in 3 years you will be sobbing because you only have X amount of photos of your dead baby and you’ll never be able to see her again.

No one lets you know that some day…some day far down the road you will WANT to see every angle of her face, and body and that you might actually want to see a video of you holding her, and kissing her face and telling her that you are so sorry, that you love her more than anything in the whole entire world and you wish you could have saved her.

No one told me those things. I wish they would have.

When she died, I remember feeling so many things but mostly I felt absolutely dead inside. I knew that my life was forever changed at that moment. But now, nearly 3 years later, I really see it. I see it with clarity; The person I was from my birth until 12.29.2015 did in fact truly die with Kenley that day.

I am a new person.

I am changed in ways I wish I didn’t understand. I see things with eyes that I wish weren’t mine. I am burdened with guilt that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I have sadness and anger that are so deep I will never find their bottom. I am not a better person because my daughter died; I am a new person. A bereaved Mother who lost her second child, her first daughter. This person gives zero shits about the little things in life that used to bother her, and instead cares about the insensitivity of people who choose to  not accept her grief.

This is my life now.

When I feel strong, I let my walls down and allow myself to feel the raw grief. It is like a dam. When the floodgates open, the emotions come pouring into me with unbounded strength. The grief and sadness know no constraint. I can’t always allow myself to feel these things because I do have to be present and take care of my living children. This in itself creates a problem. I need to allow myself to feel what I feel but I see how it affects my children. There is a thin line between daily happiness and daily despair. Somedays it’s so thin…like a single strand of hair. Anything could snap it and thrust me one way or the other.

As the days wind down I’m noticing the sadness in everything I do. Nothing is bringing me joy. I’ve been listening to a lot of music to keep my brain occupied. I’ve watched the office again, and I’m trying to watch anything and everything that doesn’t require me to feel emotion.

15 days until the anniversary of the worst day of my life. Yet, somehow it’s the anniversary of the best day of my life as well?

It’s the day I held your perfect body. Yet it’s the day I had to give you away.

See? It’s all just too much for one human to handle. Somedays I wish I went with her.