Grief…Like Love

It’s been 2 years, 7 months and 15 days since my daughter died. By societal standards I should be completely healed and moved on. I should mainly think of her on her birthday. That is the day I am allowed to dwell and be sad. By the morning of the next day I must dust myself off and get back to life.

This is not reality.

Thoughts of my daughter are ever-present. Yes, almost three years later. I’m as devastated as ever.

This is not by a lack of effort to heal on my part. I’ve read books on healing and working through grief. I have, and continue to see, my therapist. I participate heavily in charities that aid other bereaved families. I meditate frequently. I write to purge the thoughts and fears in my mind. I’ve done it all.

Somehow I’m still destroyed.

I still have flashbacks of the moment I realized she died. Certain things can trigger me and I will see her lifeless body in my mind. I could be walking through the grocery store and suddenly the thought ‘your daughter died’ surges to the forefront of my mind. It’s a knife to my heart. In that moment I am crippled. I close my eyes tight to squeeze back the tears, smooth out the grimace on my face. Return my gaze to the apple in my hand and continue my shopping. I can cry in the car.

This still happens almost three years later.

I frequently find myself in a state of irritation. I’m agitated, simmering on a low boil. I look forward to moments I feel content, moments I feel more like myself. I want to be that person more often. I long for that peace. But there is still anger in me that I cannot seem to tap. Things that wouldn’t normally irk me do. People that don’t normally annoy me are like nails on a chalkboard. It’s as if my subconscious is looking for ways to get out this anger, any way it can. How can I not always seethe at how unfair it is that my baby died?

This still happens almost three years later.

The irony is that I have an appreciation for my life that many others don’t. I have such love for my family and friends that I could burst. I value each breath that I take and find overwhelming moments of joy in my life. But I’m still also sad. I’m still also angry.

I still miss my baby girl almost three years later.

Grief and PTSD are no joke. They may be invisible to the world around us but to those with it, it’s incredibly debilitating. Light needs to shine on the struggles of bereaved parents. There are a lot of us. I feel that the more we learn the more we can support each other. Outside of the loss community, I receive so little support from the majority of people around me. It’s an uphill battle, but I’m still climbing. Grief may transform and vary in intensity, but it remains.

Just like love, it’s for life.

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    Loni is a writer, artist and frequent volunteer, all of which has helped her in her journey through grief. She and her husband lost their first-born daughter, Aisley, at 41 weeks during childbirth on August 5th, 2012. In January 2014 she gave birth to Aisley's brother, Meyer, who will know all about his beautiful sister. She is a better mommy to him because of Aisley.