Looking back on the before, I hear Kurt Vonnegut’s words ringing in my ears. “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”
I think about my pregnancy before we found out we would lose her, all the happiness and beauty of expecting a baby.
“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”
I know we tend to look upon the past with rose-colored glasses, and I’m not foolish enough to think everything in the before was hunky-dory.
No, when I look back, I see the joy that isn’t mixed with sadness and guilt.
I see the beautiful moments of hope for our future.
Pictures from the before staring back at me with taunting smiles.
Pure joy and pure ignorance that it will all be ripped away.
We had beautiful times in the before.
At the beginning of the after, everything was not beautiful, and everything hurt. The world is cold and cruel.
It’s harder to see the beauty in small things, but maybe now that spring is here, or perhaps I’ve had enough time, beautiful things are more apparent. And it hurts.
I see a beautiful sunrise, and I think of her. And it hurts.
The tree we planted and lovingly refer to as our Ava tree has started to bloom for the first time. It’s beautiful, and all I see is her. And it hurts.
The wind is making the water fountain dance in a quiet, gentle way, and all I see is her. And it hurts.
Bad, gloomy days are nothing compared to beautiful days in terms of the weight of my grief.
The bad, gloomy days are rough, don’t get me wrong.
But, the good, beautiful days are the hardest.
She is everywhere. It fills me with love and happiness.
Then just like that, I am drained and missing her so much it physically hurts. And that’s when the tears fall without a hint of stopping.
She is everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.
It hurts to know she will never see a beautiful sunrise, enjoy a beautiful spring day, grow into a beautiful person.
This reality slams me to the ground, steals the air from my lungs, and makes it hard to breathe.
It’s not that I didn’t know this before, but it is tucked away under layers of grief in my achy heart.
It’s like the hint of happiness opens up the door, letting in a cold wind that blows the layers back, exposing the raw hurt.
The layers of guilt swirl around me, while specks of anger glimmer in the sunlight.
In the most beautiful of things, all I see is her.
I make an effort to take in the moment and accept it for what it is. I see the beauty.
But, how can I not see her?
How can I not automatically wish with every inch of my being that she would be there to experience the beauty?
I can’t. I won’t. She was beautiful and loved and wanted.
She is beautiful and loved and wanted.
So, in every beautiful thing, I see her.
And it hurts.
And that’s okay.
It’s okay because I see the beauty, I see her, I fall in my grief, but then I get back up and continue with her in my heart.
She is everywhere, nowhere and with me always, and I’m working on accepting that life is what it is.