Thursday, August 2, 2012

What does it feel like?

The first year was intense.
The second felt like Groundhog's day.
The third full of anxiety and apprehension.
The fourth?

Next month would be her fourth birthday, so what does this fourth year without my little girl feel like?

Surreal. Distant.

I wonder did that happen to me? All of that?  Was she ever really here? She feels so far from me some days that the distance hurts more than the memories. Did I really watch her die? Was I that woman who cried and wailed and gnashed my teeth in agony over losing her and my fertility?

Sometimes it is so hard to believe that this life, this me, is the same person who lived through that.

Sometimes my days are so busy, and exhausting, and full of squealing toddlers, and diaper changes, and milestones that I almost feel... dare I say it... normal.

I never thought I would find myself here. In this place that feels a lifetime away from that place, and while my blessings are too many to count, and I am grateful beyond belief for this new normal (or as close to normal as I will ever be) I have to wonder at what expense to her memory this is happening.

My visits to Peyton's hill are few and far between these days. Most often they are (like all attempts at accomplishing things with twin toddlers) hurried as I race to say what needs to be said, or to feel what needs to be felt, before one or both of her siblings start to cry, or fuss, or... or... or...

My Snowflakes are now 17 months old. 17 months that have gone by both at the pace of molasses and in the blink of an eye and they are truly all consuming.

They deserve all of their momma's attention... don't they?

But what about her? The littlest big sister.  What about the one who came first and mewed at my chest and comes to me in the quiet time before I fall asleep?

Does she not deserve my full attention too?

There is no handbook for this. No "How-To" guide on how to be a mother here and there at once, and so my children who are here, who press for my attention and fill my day with the delights of their milestones, they get nearly all of me these days. As a result, I feel a distance from Peyton that I never could have anticipated.

Even things I want to do, like focusing on Doing Good In Her Name, just don't happen. I keep saying next week, or next month, and those timelines come and go without progress because my here and now of mothering twins, and trying to freelance for extra money every free second I have, gets busier (and more hectic) by the day.

Of course the love I have for her is no less, but that connection--the way I used to talk to her in my heart and mind all the time--it is fading.

So what does this fourth year without her feel like?

I guess I would have to say that it feels like I am losing her all over again.


  1. Oh Honey, you and Peyton are always close to my heart.
    I've just passed three years, and a lot of what you say here I recognise.
    I can't believe some days that I'm still standing after watching my daughter die. I can't quite believe that realy happened, but then I know it did.
    So many "fours" this month in our little space on the web, so many babies I'm holding close in my heart.

  2. You summed it up pretty damn good. Except I'm going on year 3 and I feel like I'm losing my boy all over again. I look at his pictures and it takes a moment for me to realize that he is MY son. I read stuff about him and doing that hits me like a ton of bricks when it clicks that I'm reading about my child. My only son.

    Thinking of you always.

  3. close to my heart! I am on year 3 for Connor and 4 for Emma and it is like you took the words from my head. Thank you!

  4. Oh hun, I can imagine how it seems to get harder again over time. I'm only 4 months past my loss, and it comes and goes in waves, but I can relate to the questions of 'did this really happen to me?' and 'was s/he really here?'

    I'm glad (from your twitter) that you've had a sign, and I hope to read about it soon.


  5. I know it isn't near enough...but, I'm sorry!

  6. I am only going on month three and it sometimes seems like a dream to me. Was Skylar really here? Was I pregnant that long. Or the worst is having only to imagine how she would be at three months. I will always see her as a baby. Big hugs to you.

  7. I just want you to know you are doing good in her name by being a good mommy to your twins. As for losing her you never will. The memories fade and we do get busy even without kids to pull us away. I am 7, 6, and 5 years out from my losses of my three angels and can not have any kids, but each year I do find myself closer to wondering if that ever was me. Praying for God's strength for you.

  8. Yes I hear you loud and clear. It's 21 months since Bear died. My Pearlie is 6 months old and just perfect. I'm losing him again too, he's so far away and I'm not sure if I'm ok with that. But I cherish so much this 'normal' state of mind that I think I feel guilty. Is it right to feel ok again for a lot of the time? I generally think it is, but that acceptance pushes Bear even further away. I think it's a never ending conundrum of emotions. X

  9. It will be 5 years for us very soon and I feel so many of these feelings but I have to say, as life has settled down with my little ones I have felt my Hadley much more again and I feel like I am grieving more deeply again, it's almost as if, when you are taking care of babies/toddlers you are so busy and caught up in their day to day that you don't have time to exhale but when you do finally get to exhale all that you have held in comes out at once.