Something is missing...confessions of a grieving mom
November 29, 2017
365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes without Charlotte by our side. In someways it feels like forever, in other ways it feels like just yesterday. The last few days leading up to her exiting her Earthly body are engrained in my brain, and like the old movies they used to show in school on the reels, they play over and over in my head. The discussions, the scares, and of course the day she passed away. I remember the fear, the sickened heart, the wishing it could me, being obsessed with the monitor until Junji made them turn it off. I remember the loving staff, the calmness of the room, and the love that surrounded her. I remember thanking God for letting me be with her, to be holding her when her last breath became air, something I didn't get to do when she entered into the world, and took her first breath. I remember whispering into her ear to go, to be free, promising her that we would be ok.
And then I remember after she was gone, wanting to claw myself out of the room, to run away as far as I could. Instead of having to pry her from me, I was scared and wanted to get away. One of my biggest regrets even though I don't know if it should be. To me she was gone, it wasn't her, it was a shell of existence, a broken body, that couldn't exist here anymore. But maybe I should have stayed longer, laid with her longer, held her longer - would it have ever have been enough though?
As time has gone on, you forget how bad it was, you forget how horrific the seizures were to watch, you question the decisions you made - were they right? Was she really suffering? Was it really as bad as we thought? Did we do everything we could? Did we make the right decision? Does she know we choose mercy for her tired body, that we didn't give up on her? My brain knows the answers to these questions, but my heart replays them over and over again because you forget how heartbreaking it was to watch our precious little girl in status having hours and hours and hours of tonic clonic seizures. You forget - until you look at pictures and see how gone she really was.
365 days later, I am a shell of who I used to be. I enjoy quite and solitude more than I used to, time to reflect and feel the joys that life offers you. 365 days later, I know my limits, I know when my heart hurts more than others and when I cannot just fake it - I say no to things I would never have in the past. 365 days later, some of my favorite days are days home with my little family, snuggles and time together, interrupted by no one. 365 days later I still have random, sneak up on you triggers, I start crying in target walking by the clothes I would have picked out for her, or watching a three year old run up and down the ladders of the playground. I often think "Charlotte would have loved this" when seeing toys or bright lighted things that were right up her alley. I wonder what she is like in Heaven - it is hard from me to imagine sometimes a running, walking, talking, giggling Charlotte - but that is what I hope and pray she is. What I wouldn't give for a minute to glimpse into the Heavens and see her doing all these things. I pray with all my heart that she knows we didn't give up on her, that we fought as hard as we could until her body showed us that it couldn't do it any longer, I pray she knows this - we would have done anything to save her, I would have given myself if I could.
Some say I am strong - to you I say thank you. Thank you for noticing my effort to live life. It is no easy feat to get up in the morning, let alone get ready, hold adult conversations, laugh, live life. Thank you for noticing how hard I work to love life. Some tell me they could never do it - to you I say I "yes you could", because you love your child. I pray every single night that no other mother must live with a broken and patched heart after losing a child, but the truth is many have done it before, and many will do it after me - and you do it because you love your child, you carry on and live your life because if you don't no one will be there to speak their name, to keep them alive, to help people remember the part of you that is gone.
Life continues on for us, it doesn't stop even though our world stopped one year ago today. The sun still rises, the wind still blows, and people carry on with their hopes and dreams. Our world has started spinning again - to that we had no choice - and we too also carry on, we have lived life as best we can, choosing Joy even though it is harder now than ever before, because in everything we do, it feels like something is missing. It is Charlotte that is missing, our family feels a small empty space that she inhabited, the physical space is wide and soul crushing, and now we must look for new ways to find her presence to fill that space. We believe that she is with us, that she surrounds us, that she is apart of us, we just haven't figured out how to fill our souls with her presence so the empty space shrinks a bit.
Many days I wish that life were different, that this wasn't the cross we were given to bear, that my child could be here still, but I trust in the plan of life, the control of another, and that we all have a destiny, some of us just fulfill ours in a shorter amount of time than others.
Today on Charlotte's one year angelversary we ask that you spread some Joy, near and far, it can be simple Joys, conversations, holding doors open for people - Joy doesn't have to cost money, whatever moves your heart. We will be lighting a candle for Charlotte this evening at 5:14 the moment her breath escaped her lungs for the last time and her heart took its last beat. It is at that moment that she was completely healed of the disease that plagued her precious body, the moment where she traded in a broken body for a body that could do what she wanted, and had gold sparkly angel wings, the moment she was free. Please feel free to join and share in lighting a candle if you are so moved.
If anything can be learned from her life it is that life is short, to live every moment, to take chances, make every moment count, and most of all live for the moments of Joy that sprinkle our lives and give us hope and happiness.
I love you Charlotte every second of every day....