I miss my daughter. I miss her smile, her eyes, her cuddled up to me, her first word. We were children together, but I adored her. I miss her frown. I miss her trying to mimic me raising my eyebrow and just failing. I miss the first time she saw her reflection and properly registered it was ‘another person’, but not quite realising it was her. I miss her smell. I miss how she frowned in her sleep. My partner tells me I frown in my sleep and I wonder sometimes if she had my frown. I miss her curly hair. I miss holding her against me in the bath, singing to her so softly that my voice broke, a whole new genre of vocal music – motherly singing.
I don’t really have any words past that today. The pain of losing her is so intense, it burns and stabs inside me. My therapist says I need to find a way of externalising the grief, but it feels too much like letting go of her again. She lives nestled inside my ribcage, that’s not so different to when she was nestled inside my abdomen is it? I try to kid myself this, but it’s not true. She lives inside my ribcage and the grief grows daily, some days I’m convinced my ribs will just freeze and not be able to breathe. Sometimes this even happens, and I gasp for breath and the only thing that brings back my ability to breathe is if I sob. I can’t let her go again. I tear myself to pieces for losing her before. My therapist tries to encourage me to let my friends, my trusted wonderful friends, to hold the memory of her for a bit and give me respite…like babysitting but for memories, not physical child.
But I still don’t dare. She’s my little girl, and it’s going to be a long time before I’m prepared to let her go again.
The smell of her is fading, I’m scared one day I won’t remember it at all.
This morning I was on campus, when I heard a little toddler laugh, and span around – her laugh was so similar. I don’t know why I span around. What was I expecting; her to have just magically re-appeared? Decided the stars were a bit boring? But the disappointment was intense. I walked away with my eyes filling, burning with the grief and anger and guilt. And I could hear her, my little girl, I could hear her laughter all in my head, and it’s such a beautiful sound…the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard, and I could hear. I had to steady myself against a tree, and I just kept hearing her. She felt so close suddenly, like she was right next to me but just not near enough that I could touch her. I half-hallucinated and for a split second saw her in front of me, her little chubby arms outstretched, and I heard her – “mame.” Mame. That was my name. I whispered, ‘I’m here baby girl…’ but it was over, the blessing/curse of a split second hallucination ended.
I broke. I literally broke. It was like the pain of losing her whipped through me all over again. I had my friend’s car key with me and stumbled to her car, not too far away, and I sat in there, with my head on the steering wheel, and sobbed uncontrollably for nearly an hour. During this time I found the most beautiful song, the most heartbreaking song, and I kept listening to it because it summed up how I was feeling, it summed up my loss (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqJoVlnmdFQ)
I sat in there, hunched over the steering wheel, crying so hard I almost threw up and frankly I couldn’t have cared less if I did throw up. I’d not cried so hard for the grief since I lost her all those years ago. I’ve never dared let it get so close, it feels too much like letting her go. But I couldn’t stop it. It just erupted and exploded around me, inside me. I had a strange comfort in crying alone, because I just let it out, and focused on hearing her in memories, of remembering being pregnant with her, of seeing her eyes when they first opened…right the way up to her first word. Mame.
I heard you baby…I love you… 😥