Yesterday marked the 6 month, anniversary if you will, of my daughter's death. That is if the 19th was the actual day of her death. Actually, we know for certain it was not the 19th, that was just the date in which they delivered her from my womb. She actually passed sometime on December 18th. But, regardless of semantics, it has been 6 months.
I spent a lot of time thinking yesterday about the length of time 6 months is. I thought about how in some instances, people can meet, fall in love and plan a lifetime together. In 6 months, a woman can conceive, learn she is pregnant and give birth to a baby, who, while born premature, can live and grow into a perfectly healthy person. In 6 months, someone else may find out they are sick with a terminal illness and have to come to terms with their mortality. They will have to grieve the lose of their own life, make preparations for their own death, console those around them, and ultimately die; all in 6 months. Six months, it isn't a long time in the grand scheme of things, but for some, 6 months is long enough to change their lives, their world forever.
In my case 6 months has been almost like time standing still. Oh, the time has passed. I look at the pictures of my son at Christmas time and look at him now, and boy has he grown. How it happened I don't know. Before my eyes I suppose, although I don't recall it. My husband completed his degree in these past 6 months. Close friends have had their prayers answered and have been blessed with joyful news they are expecting. I have been to weddings, christenings, communions, graduations and all sorts of noteworthy milestone events in the past 6 months. But, still it is hard for me to recognize that 6 months has past. In many ways I am in the same place I was on December 18, 2010... in disbelief.
I guess, if I had to explain the most unexpected thing about this situation, for me, is the static. You know the sound of white noise that can hum constantly but still not affect you doing whatever it is you're doing. That is what losing my daughter has been like for me. It is always there. You may not hear it, or notice it, but I do, constantly. I am always aware, I am different. I am always aware she is not here and my family is one short. It never changes. It is always there, buzzing in the back of my mind in every minute of everyday and with me no matter the activity I am involved in.
I know people have told me time helps. I don't believe that to be true. How can time help? It is not going to bring my daughter back to me. Whether it be 6 months, 6 years or 60 years, I will always be a bereaved parent. I am not going to forget her, miss her less or be okay with what happened. Those of you who know me, know I am not in a 'bad' place, on the contrary, I am actually in a good place with her passing. I am! I don't think time is going to put me in a better place. I am comfortable with my relationship with God and my religion. I am confident in my ability to be self aware. So, I don't think this is an issue of which I need to evolve in any way. I think it is the simple reality of it is never going to change. Could you imagine? Think of the most difficult, challenging times of your life. I have had them. You are in crisis, you are confused, you are hurt, you are overwhelmed, whatever it is. But think about the cycle you have gone through to get past that crisis, challenge, whatever. You have intense moments and days maybe even weeks. But eventually, you work through it. You resolve it. You finish the project. You change the relationship. You find a new job. You settle in to your home. Whatever it is you get pass it, and in years from now it is a memory of something tough you got through. People who lose children never get to that other side. There is no resolution. Because it is not natural to bury your child. So we can't feel good or okay with it. We can move on, we can cope, we can function, but that static is always there.
In closing this blog entry, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has prayed for us, wrote to us, called us, lit a candle for us, and most of all loved us. Thank you so much for being there, your kind words and gestures, even the ones done in silence are felt deep in our hearts. Thank you for supporting me by reading this blog, and sharing it with your families and friends. And to my dear Gabriella, I love you, I miss you and I will never forget you. To my beautiful son Dominic, thank you for being a constant reminder why life here on earth is wonderful.