I lost my daughter, my baby girl. Now I am a symbol for loss, for sadness, for death, for every parent’s worst nightmare. Some people in my life are pulling away from me. Some people I thought I would always be able to count on for anything are simply not there. And I get it. I know this is a very difficult and complicated situation. I live it every day. I know how hard it is to face it and try to understand what happened. So if someone makes the choice to not face it, to not deal with it, to not support me, I understand their reasons. This is too hard. However, I have to carry it in my heart every day. I carry the love and the loss I feel for my daughter no matter where I go. I carry the pain and despair with every thought and breath. I can’t choose to avoid it and I wouldn’t want to.
Avoiding the loss of Bug feels the same as ignoring her life. Pretending I didn’t lose her is the same as I pretending I didn’t have her. Being afraid to speak her name is the same as wishing she had never been. It’s probably easier for some to choose that path, but I have to believe that they don’t know how insulting and painful and mean it feels. I know they don’t mean to hurt me. I know they are all doing their best to cope, just as I am. I know, but it hurts.
As I continue to discover the depth and breadth of this hurt, I am seeing more losses than that of my daughter. Since I lost Bug at 14 months, I have also lost people in my life who love me and care about me, but who are none-the-less absent. They do not or can not support me. They do not or can not contact me to see how I am doing. They do not or can not just give me a hug or a smile without the palpable discomfort. They do not or can not just be there for me. And it hurts.
I lost a child and I still don’t know how that didn’t kill me. And now I am accumulating other losses, the loss of friends and family who just can’t. And it hurts. I get it, but it hurts. My worry is that I won’t be able to heal from these hurts, that they will stay with me forever, that I won’t be able to overlook or forgive those who, in their process of coping, made the choice to forget my daughter.