How am I here? One year since my little, blonde baby died. With her Daddy's nose. I used to ask that question of myself almost daily. How did my daughter die? Will I die too? Thankfully not actually but in that soul crushing way that there is no return. We've spent a year clawing our way out of the pain and why there is always cause for it to resurface, none like the anniversary of her death.
What do you call it? It's not a birthday because she wasn't born. What day do you choose to mourn, the day she died or the day I was fortunate enough to hold my perfect, yet still child and give her a proper good bye. I still can't answer, I felt the shock wave coming for weeks. She passed on Monday, July 11, 2016 and was delivered Thursday, July 13, 2016. Piper's Day.
I felt this scary regression unfolding in our lives. I began to pull away, to hide and fear social contact. Others noticed our odd stand-offish behaviors, mimicking those first months when I couldn't hold a conversation. Where my daily goals included getting out of bed and eating at least one meal. When Beau coaxed me from the house with 11 p.m. drives and promises of coffee. Days when my mom would come over at 4 a.m. so that Beau could get some sleep away from my sobs.
We were asked about our plans to celebrate our daughter's short life, I'd answer, I have no plan as I couldn't even handle the pressure of the plan. I'd like to say I handled the first anniversary of her death with polish and strength but I didn't. I wandered around my house in my pajamas, unkempt. I opened and closed her memory box, holding her tiny knit hat, howling and cursing the universe. Ate very little and showered even less. Became manic, cleaned the bathroom and nursery. Put together the half finished swing. Cried again. Read every condolence card, note or letter addressed to us or Piper. Often irritable and snapping at my sweet, Beau, while he struggled to keep his own head above water.
The pain engulfed me and I didn't fight against it. I lived every second preceding the anniversary of her death and entrance in to the world in fear, as our lives aligned with the dates. The holidays and birthdays ticked by until it was staring me in the face, daring me to fall off the ledge. I didn't fall, I jumped. I'm thankful I did because taking the time to come undone left me once again standing on the other side with my family, my tribe and a bouncing Squeak in my belly.
I kept my promise to our daughter. We have continued to live our life, full of love and happiness, with a newfound gratitude. I don't mearly exist, which was my deep seaded fear. I have learned to artfully carry my grief, to coexist with it and my life. I am proud of that.
They say time heals all wounds. I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone. -Rose Kennedy.
Reat easy my darling Piper, until we meet again.