My daughter died two and a half years ago and it feels like yesterday. The only thing that has changed for me during this time is the reality that she isnít coming back. In the beginning, you actually believe that he or she might just come back. Time tells you otherwise. The anguish and the sorrow are as deafening today as they were in that moment we lost her. I am not better; Iím just getting used to feeling this way.
Time passes as it should and lives go on all around us. We see children go to school each day on the school bus. Folks do their grocery shopping, the laundry, go to work. Moments progress into hours and into days. Yes, sometimes some things are more burdensome than youíd like them to be and yes, sometimes some things are difficult and sad and life presents challenges. Most situations and problems can be changed or corrected. This is normal.
As a bereaved parent begins each day, they begin it with an immediate sadness. I wake up every day and the first thing I think of is my daughter and that she is not here getting ready for school. I think how I wonít be making her breakfast or helping her brush her hair or offering my opinion on her choice of clothes or smelling her or hearing her or hugging her. My shoulders droop with heartache and I feel the sorrow oozing out from within me, knowing she isnít here. Again. Every day starts this way; sometimes with a nightís sleep, sometimes without a nightís sleep at all and sometimes with surface sleep (where being asleep and awake seem to occur at the same time) but never do we awaken from this nightmare.
Then I drive my surviving daughter to school. Alone. Without her sister. Only one kiss and one wave as she walks in the main door and disappears into a crowd of kids who donít understand what has happened to her. I get back home and begin my daily tasks, all of which I dread because they are full of reminders of her. Thereís laundry that doesnít have her clothes in it anymore or changing the sheets on just the one bed in the girlsí room. I put away clean dishes and look at the cups and plates that she used. I sweep the floor and know her beautiful hair isnít caught in the dust. Dinner preparation is for three, not four. Woven in and out of these tasks are the unceasing moments of tears and worry and longing and anger that stop me in my tracks or create a pit in my stomach or make me catch my breath, requiring me to discreetly look for something or someone to lean on so that I can regain my composure to do whatever needs doing next.
We can do the tasks, we can move through each moment and each day, appearing to have it all together on the outside. However, we function only to survive. Our situation does not change. We cannot fix it. We cannot solve it. It is a constant burden of pain. Never should it be assumed that life is getting easier for us because time has passed and we seem to be operating normally.
Embrace yourself for surviving another day without your beloved child.
A website has been established in our daughter's name. Please click here for more information about our mission.
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