In the past week I have forgotten deadlines, appointments, preschool homework, what day it is and my place on the other side of a conversation.
I have tried, I am trying, to be here.
I have written words to remind myself about luck and love and tucking away memories and I have gotten out of bed.
The date is following me like a cartoon cloud only carrying rain over one unfortunate character. In two weeks it will be five years since I last held my daughter.
If I said I want to be present and busy myself to get through these days I would be lying.
I want to be alone with my memories, with my husband piecing the days back together. I want to walk through it all over and over again, even though the ending will never change. I want to look at her pictures and remember how real she was, how perfectly mine.
I want off the hook for everything, no question-answering, no lunch-making, no hard-to-shape smiles.
All is not well, not right now. It was and soon it will be again but right now the ache is physical. My brain is as tired as my heart and I want to tuck them in as I do my children each night and let them rest for a while.
And then I want to stomp around and match my three year-old’s best tantrum over the unfairness of it all. I want answers to unanswerable questions and a life I will never have.
I want to close my eyes and open them to a family complete.
But a heart once broken can only be mended if you’re holding all the pieces.
P.S. I know this post is raw and you may not know what to say and that’s okay. Sharing my daughter here, knowing you are reading and might have her short life in your mind while you scroll through my words is enough. It truly is.
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I am so sorry. It is beautiful that you are sharing her here with your voice. It’s a terrible thing…the date that follows us around after a loss.
You are absolutely right, you can not mend a broken heart if you do not have all of the pieces.
My heart goes out to you as you navigate through this loss today and everyday.
Here. Thinking of you. Thinking of her.
Not a Perfect Mom says
that picture is precious….
Sending love to you. I hope you get to grieve and remember in the way you want for however long you need <3
Lady Jennie says
Hi love. I’m tired. I’ve been away, but I do want to be here for this. Remembering your precious daughter is important, even to me who has never met her.
Thank you so much Jennie, I truly appreciate your support.
Jenni & Andy says
To have tried, and to keep trying… good for you. It’s hard to keep up. I want off the hook, too. And I wonder whether that’s a normal mom feeling, or whether it’s a different kind of wanting.
There’s an out-of-country trauma conference that Andy has permission to attend that conveniently overlaps with the one-year “anniversary” of C’s death. I hope I can tag along. If I want off the hook today, I can only imagine what it will be like in January…
Hoping you can give your body and mind a break over the next couple weeks.
Oh that first year is so hard. I think part of wanting off the hook is the mental energy that grieving uses up. As we near her anniversary it’s like my brain is too tired to do much of anything. I hope you can go to the conference too, it would be great for you to just be together and away from it all for that time.
P.P.S. if I could help you back up please know that I would. and, as others have written it is ok to be down. xo
I never understand it but anniversaries are just hard. I know we miss our children every day but certain days are just morr difficult. I wish i had the right words to say (at this point i feel like i should). However, i know that there are no magic words when your child has died. So i am sending hugs and hope. Thinking of you, Mark and Hadley. xoxo
P.S. I know I write this all the time but you really have a way of putting into writing my feelings/thoughts. I have a post in my drafts right now about what happens when our heart is in 1000 pieces.
I’m always so glad to know that you understand exactly how I’m feeling although I hate that we both have to feel this way. Thank you for always being here for me. xo
Never apologize Jessica. The pain is something we always will feel. The anniversary just brings it to the surface. I have no words, but I know you know that. Hugs sweet girl.
And many hugs back to you.
I love you dearly my friend.
I’m thinking of you. xoxo
Thank you so much Kim, love you too!
know what its like and how much you want what was. I give you my support, understanding and shoulder if you need it.
Yes, this post was raw. It was also beautiful, painful, and emotional… and an incredibly touching tribute to your little angel. I can’t imagine the pain you must be feeling when you anticipate another birthday/anniversary, but know that we are all here behind you, helping you through the toughest of days.
XOXO and my thoughts are with you, sweet girl.
Catherine W says
Oh Jessica. I just love this post. I so often feel very much alone, that I’m still here, that I’m still writing about my daughter after years have passed. But the quote you’ve posted sums it up perfectly, I lost some of the pieces of my heart when she died. So it isn’t surprising that I never feel completely mended. Because I simply can’t be. Part of my heart is missing. And that’s ok. Most of the time but there are days when that spot just aches and aches.
Stomping around with you. It isn’t fair, it just isn’t fair. My adult brain knows that life isn’t fair but my heart is still a toddler.
The photograph of Hadley Jane’s hand is simply beautiful. Dear little girl. How I wish she were with you, that your family were complete, that my family were complete. Sending love xo
Thank you so much for your words Catherine, it is always so comforting to me to know that we are in this same place together as much as I wish that neither of us needed to be here. Much love to you.
I’ll be honest—I can’t read your post. My time to fall is January 24. I look upon that whole month with impending dread and the first week of February is hell for me. Instead I will tell you how much I think of you in these times. I know what its like and how much you want what was. I give you my support, understanding and shoulder if you need it.
Hugs and love—Lizbeth
Nicole @MTDLBlog says
I meant to comment when I first read this….but alas…I just got back to your touching post….you take the time you need Mama. It’s ok to do that. Big HUGS during this time as you remember your little girl.
My sister died recently in a tragic accident and it has hit us all very hard. She was my best friend and an amazing mentor and I will miss her being with me until I take my last breath. My mom has had such a rough time with the whole thing. Reading your piece written so beautifully and so raw was a glimpse into the tragic pain that only a mother can know. I can remember my sister in a wonderful way since I was lucky enough to have 36 years with her, and my mother had 39 years to spend with an incredible woman. It seems like so much time to have had her, yet I can only think that the pain would be just as intense if we had only had her for a matter of days. I only recently started following you, but I do want you to know that I think you are amazing. Your strength and perseverance are inspiring and I appreciate you putting yourself out there. Big hugs are being sent to you and just know that your presence is immense.
I am so sorry for the loss of your sister Lainey, I can only imagine the pain you and your family have gone through. I’m sure it is such a comfort to your mom to have you to remember her with.
Thank you so much for all of your kind words, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Sending hugs your way.
This is beautiful. I struggle daily with the “what ifs.” Thinking of you and Hadley. And thank you.
The Anecdotal Baby says
As always, your words are moving and beautiful. I can’t even imagine, and you’re right, I don’t know the right words, but know that there are people among the blogosphere who are touched. Love from afar.
Oh, Jessica. I am so sorry. You are in my thoughts.
I’m sorry. I know that is so inadequate. I’m sorry about that too.
julie gardner says
Thinking about you. And thinking about Hadley, the beautiful piece of your heart that stretches all the way to heaven. She is loved. You both are.
I hope you get your time alone to be with her.
JDaniel4's Mom says
Hugs, prayers and thanks that you know you need time and are taking it to reflect and remember.
I’m thinking of you Jessica. Sending all my good thoughts and prayers your way to help ease you through the next couple of weeks.
No words, just Hugs!!
Steph at I'm Still Learning says
Just let yourself feel what you need to feel right now. Don’t fight it. My thoughts are with you.
I am so sorry for your heartache but thank you for sharing your daughter with us. I so wish you were sharing her playing on the beach with your other gorgeous children. It’s not fair and how you manage to get through ANY days without raging and sobbing, I don’t know.
I wish you could tuck your poor broken heart and brain in.
Thinking of you and precious Hadley. xxx
Stephanie Precourt says
Oh, oh my dear, my love to you.
Thanks so much Steph.
Victoria KP says
It would indeed be foolish to think for a moment that I know the right thing to say. I could never comprehend a loss like that. But please know there are many of us out here in cyberspace who are thinking of you and praying for you and sending you virtual hugs and shoulders to cry on.
Thank you so much Victoria, truly appreciate your support.
I want to give you all of that and more. With love.
If there were just an island we could float to when needed…
tara pohlkotte says
oh, jessica. this is one of those times i’m so pissed that i am behind a computer instead of next to your side, letting you throw something that will shatter in a way that is good for your soul, and guarding your door while you retreat just for some time. your daughter and her life are just breathtakingly beautiful. she deserves this fight from you to remember because she lived; and you deserve her memory and her life because you love so well. all i can whisper is *thank you* for taking us to this place with you. it is aching, raw, and so beautiful to see the source of life pumping. you are so inspirational.
Thank you so much for this Tara, to know that you would do this for me is amazing. I always debate on sharing the darkness of grief but it was so good to share and feel the love from people like you.
Robin @ Farewell, Stranger says
I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. Sending love, hugs and rainbows.
Mary V says
My heart aches for you and I am all too familiar with your grief, but one step removed. My daughter has lost three babies – one still born at 21 weeks, one miscarried at 17 weeks and one born at 26 weeks, surviving just 21 days before leaving this earth. She is hoping to try one more time and hopefully she will be successful and a baby will join our family. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of these babies and of the time I will one day share with them, after this life. Peace to you and your family.
Oh I am so sorry for all your family has gone through Mary. I can’t imagine going through three losses. I hope your daughter has a baby in her arms very soon.
Words do not seem to be enough so all I can do is send a hug and hope that helps in some way.
Rach (DonutsMama) says
I am so sorry you are hurting right now.
Courtney Kirkland says
You’re right. I don’t know what to say to this post. Just know that I’m praying for you. Praying for your family as you approach this difficult milestone. HUGS!
Sending so much love and thinking of you — your whole family of course, but your mama heart most of all.
You’re allowed to forget things and be sad and look at pictures and replay the story. Prayers and thoughts coming your way. Thanks for sharing that beautiful photography here.
Sending you love and hugs, and saying a prayer for you and your family.
JD @ Honest Mom says
Oh, Jess. I am so glad you wrote this. I hope it brought you even a tiny bit of peace. Thinking of you. Hugs.
It does help and the support is amazing. Thanks so much for encouraging and supporting me through it all.
I know that rain cloud feeling all too well. I wish the world would stop for a little bit so you could be alone with your memories even if for just a moment without having to put on a brave face. Thinking of you and your angel and wishing it were different. (((HUGS)))
I hate that we both know that rain cloud feeling but I wish the same. It seems strange that the world can keep going sometimes doesn’t it? Sending hugs to you as well.
erin margolin says
it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling. you need to allow yourself this. (not that you need permission from me, or from anyone else) can you find some time alone that day just by yourself for a bit? can you get a friend or a sitter to help out? maybe you can escape for an hour (with or without hubs, depending how you feel?). and maybe that will be enough….or maybe not, but it would be something.
thank you for sharing this, jessica. i know your heart is breaking, and mine is breaking for you.
what can i do, sweet friend?
You are so good to me Erin, you have already done so much by just being here when I need you. Thank you. xo
And always hugs to you.
Wishing I could do more than witness and honor the memory and the ache.
…and I miss her too, and my heart breaks for you and Mark, over and over.
Hugs, love and thinking of you always.
Natalie @MamaTrack says
Thinking of you all right now.
You will all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers as you remember your girl. hugs!!
Elizabeth Flora Ross says
Oh, sweetie. I can barely see the screen through my tears. This is raw, and I feel your pain so intensely. I know no words can take it away. She will always be in your heart, even if she took a piece with her to Heaven. Part of her is with you. Will always be with you. And you are with her. She feels your love.
Sending you much love during this very difficult time.
I don’t think I will ever lose that image in my mind…It’s both beautiful and heartbreaking. My prayers are with you. Having lost one of my daughter’s dear friends when she was only two, I want you to know that you are making a difference in talking about the grief.
No words. Just ((((((HUGS))))))) …. Know that you are wrapped in the love of your online community.
Thank you so much AnneMarie, I appreciate you stopping by and am going to remind myself of your strength often.