The pain of my loss has evolved in a way that I can't understand. I carry it with a strong and hopeful heart. I am learning to accept this unwelcome and tragic event into my story, and to let it to shape my story from here on out. I am healing and moving forward, but what I can't understand is why it hurts more now than ever before. How can the pain be more bearable each day, yet bring with it deep and vivid reminders of what will forever be gone?
Every moment of my day I think about how life would be different if she were here. I don't wake up weeping every morning, but I do start each day with a stark realization that my life is not what I had planned.
I continually let myself drown in the should-bes. I should be starting my mornings in her nursery, smiling wide and cradling her in my arms. I should be watching, with immeasurable joy, as she plays on her mat and discovers the world around her. I should be kissing her cheek every few moments, just to remind her that she is the most precious baby on Earth. I should be dancing around the kitchen, laughing with joy at the miracle in my arms. I should be rushing out of work the minute I'm allowed to leave so I can get home to my beautiful baby girl. I should be exhausted, not from grief, but from waking up during the night to nurse my daughter. My life should be so different.
All of these should-bes have made my loss so real and so vivid. Charlotte is no longer a baby that I am dreaming about, trying to picture, fantasizing about the wonderful days ahead. Charlotte is now the baby that I have lost. The daughter whose beautiful face is forever etched in my mind. She is so much more real now. I can picture, with more clarity than ever before, all the times that I am missing with her. I can feel the emptiness in my heart, in the deepest of ways. I can feel her and see her more than ever before.
My loss has become easier to bear. I am stronger now than I was even a month ago. But, it is so much more real every day. Real with the saddest clarity that she is gone, and I won't get her back.