As it begins to warm up and we approach another holiday, one that was full of family traditions for us, I am quickly reminded that this summer will be another summer without my sweet Adeline. I am so broken. Yesterday I had a complete meltdown, losing it, and sobbing for most of the day and then most of the night. I just miss my little girl so much. I can't help feeling like I am the worst mom ever and that I failed her for not getting her out of that house. The weight of finishing school, earning my MS, something that she was so proud of me for...feels so heavy. There is a very good chance that I am not going to pass my final class, a Field of Study, which is a culmination of my years of graduate school into a process of critical thinking and deeper thought. My brain just is not capable of what it once was.
I can't begin to explain the amount of anger and frustration that I feel right now with myself. I am mad that I am not doing well. I am mad that I didn't get her out of that house. I am so angry at the world and the universe that my little girl was taken. I am mad that I can't cuddle her to sleep anymore. I am terrified of what is to come. I am terrified of failure and angry with myself that failure might happen. I have never worked so hard for something in all of my life. I have read the books over and over again but it feels like I am picking up a new book because my brain has literally retained nothing. I feel like I am failing my little girl all over again, just like I did that morning of the fire by not getting her out of the house, and the weight that is on my soul feels like too much from this.
I know that this is normal in grief. I have had my fellow grieving moms tell me that they have struggled with the same thing, some of whom have had to quit their jobs and move on because they couldn't function. I understand this in ways that I never wanted to. The shock has now worn off if my life and I am able to bear the full weight of the loss of my beautiful girl. I wish that there was something, anything that I could do to go back in time. I would happily trade places with my girl so that she could live. I attempt to push through the sorrow and the pain to live a life that is full, a life that Adeline deserved to live. I feel like if I waste any of my time on earth that it is a slap in the face to her because she did not get a chance to live. It all feels like so much pressure and I realize that it is pressure that I am creating for myself but I can't help it.
As spring begins, I am reminded that we will soon have summer. We will have our time without school (and now for me without work) where I can spend my days enjoying my kids and our new pool that will soon be installed in our yard. That being said, a big part of us will be missing from those days. A little girl who loved to swim, who wore her little mermaid tail and enjoyed floating on her unicorn float will never get to enjoy this pool that we are having installed for the kids. I am so sad that she didn't get to live this life with us. I am beyond broken that she is not here laughing and spending time with us. She deserved this and for some reason it was all taken from her.
I know that we are not supposed to question God, but I want to know why. I want ton scream out and beg that he share with me the sewers of why this has to be my life and why it had to be my little girl. Then I feel so selfish and incredibly awful because I would never wish this on someone else. In fact, if I see that someone loses a child, even an adult child now, I mourn that loss for them in a way that I did not know was possible.
Yesterday was a bad day on so many levels. It did have some good and I will talk about the silver lining in this storm cloud. I spent most of the day and most of the night crying. In a way, the risk of failure within my MS program (it's so incredibly frustrating to go from a brain that functioned well and that I knew how to use to a brain that barely functions at all) made me feel like I was failing Adeline again. She didn't get the chance to get a MS or MA and here I am wasting mine. It feels like I am failing a child who I already failed so much, because if I had not failed her during that fire....she would still be here with us. So, the old wounds of my loss now feel like they are fresh new wounds. It feels like I have just lost her and that feeling of hopelessness and not wanting to go on is looming. I am fighting back.
In the midst of this awful day, I was able to have some great moments. I got to see one of Adeline's best friends and take her a birthday gift. She showed me her room which included a poster with all of the pictures of her and Adeline together on it. I gifted her a cute little glass cube of one of the photos of her and Adeline and she loved it. It was nice to talk to her, to hear about her new interest in sports and to make plans to catch some of her softball games. It helps me to spend time with Adeline's friends because I feel like I know more of who Adeline would have become, more of what she would be interested in now.
I also got to celebrate Easter with my parents, grandma and brother with the kids. It was nice to watch them hunt Easter eggs in the dark and to take some funny pictures with bunny glasses on. Spending time with my grandma is always nice. I cherish the time that we get to spend together. I feel so blessed to have had my grandma and grandpa in my life for so long. I am almost 40 and both of them are still here with me. That being said, you can feel the weight of Adeline not being at these events. The room is a little less bright and the energy is certainly dulled from what it had been before. There is a pain and a sorrow that looms over our family.
The rest of the week is busy for me. We had a water main break where I am working at the school and school was canceled for yesterday and today. I worked on a paper yesterday and will hopefully finish up that paper and get started on the next one today while I am able to be home all day. I didn't sleep much so I know that a nap is going to be in order too. This road is long, it feels so lonely, and it is a challenge. I know that I will get through this and one day I will be lucky enough to be reunited with my little girl and to hold her in my arms. I know that she is around us. I feel her presence regularly, but no amount of having her spirit here is the same as having her physically here.
This year we won't plant jelly beans for suckers to grow as they magically do on Easter. We won't wake up first thing to search for eggs because of excitement that it is Easter. We won't go to local Easter egg hunts as the kids are all too big and she was the one who was still young enough to go. We won't see the Easter bunny for a picture, the kids no longer care to do so and are too old. I asked them at the mall one day and they looked at me like I was crazy. I was hoping that they would take a picture for me...just one last time, but I understand that they are past that age. She was the one who the magic was being kept alive for and things just feel a little less magical without her around.
I know that I will forever feel this sense of longing. Some days it feels like too heavy of a load to bear, but I know when those days end that I am stronger for having lived through them. I feel so weak most of the time because I am so broken inside. The world sees a strong devoted mom pushing through the worst possible tragedy and continuing to live. Inside it feels like I am a broken doll sitting in a corner watching the world go by as I try to tag along. I don't feel like I have lived since we lost my girl. I have tried. I have planned vacations and trips and I have spent time with my children. However, I have not lived and thrived in the way that I once did and knowing this breaks me in new and challenging ways. I am here. I am pushing on and I will continue to do so, but I need your prayers that I will see those signs and messages from Adeline and that I will have the strength that I need to pursue a life for her with her spirit guiding my way. I long to know what she would be proud of me for and I strive each day to live that life, to give back to others, to love and to not react in anger, to be more like her as she was the kindest and best human that I have ever met.
I guess I would have never been ready to say goodbye to my baby, but I sure wish that I would have gotten the chance to have more years with her.