Friday, September 19, 2014

One of those days

I talk about Mia a lot. Too much? I dunno. No one has given me a template on how to grieve for a dead daughter.

She is a part of me. It feels natural to bring her up and include her as part of my life. I am fully aware that this is not comfortable for some people. I don't know what my reaction would be if someone brought up their dead in conversations. It may not be polite, but her existence is too important to me.

Mia is my phantom limb. Everyday I feel her, as if she's there, and then I remember that I have to function without her. I am fully capable of living without her, but there is always that feeling of something that's missing. Something integral.
If I was missing an arm or leg people could see that I wasn't whole. They would know that extra effort was made everyday to continue on. Dead children aren't that obvious.

It's her time of year. Day of the Dead is almost here, and then December, her death day. Sometimes I feel like such a failure that I couldn't even give her a birth day. She was already dead when she left me. The regret and helplessness is overwhelming at times. Sad on top of sadness covered in melancholy dressing.

Then I have Leeloo who is loving and demanding and awesome. She fills me with this bursting kinda happiness. Everyday she is also her dead sister's echo. A reminder of where Mia would be, of how she would have grown. Such a burden that I can't shake off of her.

I have a lot. I am grateful. I am 95% happy most of the time. I am done with trying to wait for this sadness to fade. It is me. I have two daughters that teach me everyday. I have two daughters.

I will love will my whole being. I will live with every cell. I will move despite the ache that fills me, I will move because of it.


  1. This is so beautiful, Drea. Thank you for sharing.

    I had a miscarriage last December at 12 weeks and I find myself biting my tongue when people share pregnancy symptom stories. I want to commiserate and share my own first trimester experience, but realize it might make other people uncomfortable to say "when I was pregnant" when it's obvious I have no baby.

  2. Maybe some people feel uncomfortable, Drea, but I don't think you have any need to edit yourself or re-steer your course.

    Willet's best friend has an older brother who passed away before he was born. Even though we never met Matthew, I feel like I know him pretty well. His pictures and awards are still up at home. We celebrated his birthday at a big party this summer and watched Willet and his bestie share cookies and giggle while sitting on Matthew's memorial. His mom never hesitates in talking about her "two older boys" (she's a mom of three, including Matthew), or in letting us other moms know when watching a baseball game on TV, or casual talk about routine child illnesses, or something else is too hard for her. And I know to be gentle with them in their December, too. When another mom in the group lost her daughter last spring, Matthew's mom opened up her home and her heart to explain how life will go on and how fiercely she'll sometimes wish it wouldn't. I have to be honest and say that being around this is not always easy for me. But it has changed me in a real and deep way, and I'm so grateful to have been enlarged by the sturdiness and the generosity of this family's grief. Life goes on. But it is changed. For you and for Matthew's mom, it's unthinkable to pretend otherwise.

    Their story is not your story, of course. But I see that you're living yours with the same astonishing grace and anger and strength. And I'm certain that your friends and acquaintances are improved and grateful for every moment of it. I know I am.

    love to you... Jenn

    1. (whoops: sitting on Matthew's memorial bench...)

  3. Talk about her, I wish that I talked about Grace more. I miss her, I love her, she is a part of our family... the missing part. We talk about her at home all the time, but out in public I rarely talk about her anymore. It never stops hurting, it never stops absolutely sucking that our girls are not here, creating havoc as only toddlers can. Holding you and Mia in my heart.