This weekend was our first trip back to Utah since we left. So much has changed in our family – we had a daughter! – but yet it was almost as if she never existed. Our family was the same as when we left Provo: just Tyler, Alie, and baby Jack. Except we’ve got a “grown-up” job and baby Jack now walks and (kind of) talks.
It’s sometimes hard to function and hard to want to get out of bed when the world around you has moved on. I don’t expect other people to hurt the same way I do; it’s not their child that died. But as time passes she gets talked about less and less by family and friends, until it was almost as if she never existed.
It’s easier to deal with the pain that way, to pretend as if she never existed. There’s a gaping hole in my heart but the clock continues to tick and the hours and days and weeks keep passing without my consent.
I got to bottle-feed and snuggle my sister’s 2.5 month old babies this weekend. It was lovely holding a baby again, but in reality it just emphasized my loneliness. My chest was heavy the entire weekend as I ached for little Amelia. Lincoln would coo and smile at me, and I like to think it was his way of telling me she’s all right up there. But most of the time I just wanted to burst into tears anyway because it was almost as if she never existed. It saddened me that she would never get to experience the happiness and joy of being part of a family here on earth. It just doesn’t make it any easier to know what could have been.