I’ve tried to write but lately words have escaped me.
We visited Amelia’s grave yesterday. It was just a brown patch of grass, with no marker and no flowers. She was with us such a short time that it’s almost surreal she ever lived. Do you ever block out bad memories? I do. I can’t remember much of high school because my mind, with or without my consent, has chosen to pretend all of those boyfriends never happened. I must still be broken, because erasing the bad is how I’m surviving right now. This pain deep inside is still drilling its way through my tender heart, and as much as I want to pretend it was all a bad dream I know deep down it was all too real.
My memories of her are tucked away in two small boxes, and occasionally I’ll pull them down out of the closet. I haven’t washed any of her clothes, or any of the clothes Tyler and I wore when we held her. They still smell like her, and every now and then I’ll catch Tyler picking a shirt up and holding it close. It’s beautiful to see the bond a father has with his daughter, even if she is gone from us. I never treasured Jack’s newborn smell like I did Amelia’s. Now he smells like a toddler boy, and I wish I had just left one outfit of his unwashed so I could keep those memories close again.
We donated her heart valves, did I tell you that? It was kind of pushed to the side and forgotten because we weren’t there to see it through at the hospital as intended (it happened at the mortuary.) I hope another baby (or two!) gets the chance to live a long and healthy life that otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. And most of all, I hope another mama was spared the pain of losing her child. I encourage you all to sign up to be an organ donor. It takes two minutes (or less!) and will save lives. (California, click here to sign up.)
I am The Great Pretender. I smile, I laugh. I get dressed in the mornings and fix my hair. But I miss her. I still find myself crying in the middle of the day, wishing I had a baby to hold. Shouldn’t she be waking up from her nap about now? Where is the second carseat in the back seat of the car? I snuggle Jack close and tenderly kiss his chubby cheeks, but he isn’t a replacement for my sweet Amelia. Last Monday Jack let me cuddle him while I cried. I kissed his face and sobbed of the life we lost. I love that boy. He doesn’t understand yet, but when he sees I am sad he tries his best to comfort me anyway.
We’re going to be okay, my soul and body. My chest is often heavy and my heart physically aches for her, but my spirit is alive and free with the knowledge that she’s where she needs to be.
She loves me – I can feel it. And when I remember that, even if just for a second, I am at peace.