When My Daughter is Dead, and It’s Her Birthday

image by Beth Morey

photo by Beth Morey

Tomorrow is my daughter’s second (still)birthday.

I don’t know what to say.

If you reading this, you probably know what I mean.

How to describe the rippling ache whose circles widen but never disappear?

How to communicate how she is still an important part of my family, my life, even though she is dead?

How to answer those who tell me to move on, that it’s unhealthy and uncomfortable, and couldn’t I just shut up about this whole dead baby thing already?

How to celebrate her birthday when she is not here to enjoy it, when the decisions I must make of how to remember her are incapacitating?

And how do I describe just how exquisitely and excruciatingly she has changed my life, my self, the trajectory of my days and years and heart? How do I put words to the love and gratitude I have for this tiny little girl who never breathed?

Tomorrow is my daughter’s second birthday. She died. I birthed her. I held her body and said goodbye, but it was not goodbye. It was an end, and a beginning. I carry her with me still, her memory and my love for her.  It is impossible for me to do otherwise.  This is not a choice.  It simply is.

Some days it is beautiful to be a mother to a daughter who died, and some days it is an eternal, devouring aching.

Today is one of those days.

I don’t know what to say.

image by Beth Morey

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    Beth Morey is the mixed media artist behind Epiphany Art Studio . Her soulful and whimsical creations are born out of the griefs, joys, and not-knowings of life. She is also the founder of Made , an online course exploring the intersection of faith and art, and the author of the creative healing workbook, Life After Eating Disorder. Beth loves meeting new friends through her blog , where she writes about faith, creativity, and life after stillbirth. She lives in Montana with the Best Husband Ever, their rainbow son, and their three naughty dogs. You can find Beth at Epiphany Art Studio — www.epiphanyartstudio.etsy.com or at her blog, www.bethmorey.com. You can also see her work at Life After Eating Disorder -- http://www.amazon.com/Life-After-Eating-Disorder-Have/dp/1478105453/