This week has been really hard. The days have dragged on with heaviness, each a little more emotional than the next. I've begged time to stop so I wouldn't have to face this day without you.
Your due date.
I thought I'd be further along in the grief process by now. I thought this weight in my chest--the one that makes it difficult to breathe at times--would have lessened. I wanted to be stronger for you, Grace. And for your dad and brother. I wanted to be in a more hopeful place. But I am where I am, and I guess that's the best I can do.
Before I got out of bed this morning, I rolled over and stared at the box that holds your urn on our nightstand. Your dad and brother were already downstairs eating breakfast, but I just couldn't find the strength to get up yet. You should be here with us. The empty ache in my stomach inched its way up my throat. It's so hard, Grace. I still carry the sadness and pain and guilt and anger every single day.
I opened the box and looked at your urn resting inside. I just kept thinking how unfair it was that this dingy box is what keeps your warm now. It doesn't seem right... I was supposed to keep you warm. I did the best I could do, Grace.
For the first time, I picked you up and held you in my hands. I wasn't sure I was ever going to find enough strength to do it, but today I did. Tears poured down my face as I asked God to celebrate this day with you.
I traced my finger along the edge of your urn and could feel every intricate detail. The gold and cream little flowers looked exactly like I'd imagine you to be--delicate and sweet. Your dad did good. I'm not sure how, but amidst all the pain, he picked out the perfect one.
Such big emotions for something so tiny.
I put you back in your box and stared out the window at the rain. Of course it rained most of the day today. It's like the universe was mourning you, too.
I pulled out the envelope that holds the only things I have of you--your ultra sound picture, your footprints and my hospital bracelet. It didn't seem like enough memories given the impact you've had on my life. I picked up your sweet little footprints and held them to my cheek like I did in the hospital room. Your foot once touched that paper. It's the closest I will ever come to touching you.
I wiped the tears from my eyes, took a deep breath and joined your brother and dad downstairs. Another day without you... but I have somehow survived it. We are all surviving it.
Keep watching over us, Grace. Happy birthday.