I sometimes get notes from other moms who have lost children wondering how I’m doing so well. Sometimes moms that haven’t lost children comment that they could never be as strong as me.
I never try to hide the ugly of grief, I’ve written plenty of posts about the dark side, but sometimes I find the juxtaposition with the amazing ways Cora’s story has spread with the behind the scenes of how I’m coping telling different stories.
For a few days leading up to Cora’s birthday, sleep wouldn’t come until the morning hours. My mind raced and I would usually fall asleep on the sofa sometime in the morning, sleep for a few hours and go at it again.
On Cora’s birthday, I slept until 4 p.m. after being awake until the son rose that morning. I couldn’t leave the couch for several hours, not even to get food. My sister ordered me a pizza because I didn’t have the energy to even order it myself.
I left the house for the first time today in I don’t know how many days, just for a quick trip to the grocery store.
Each day I feel like she should be here. I can’t get the thought out of my mind that she shouldn’t have died. It will never feel normal.
This week, I relive every detail with Cora. Every moment I can possibly remember. I try to remember as many as possible so I don’t forget. Soon, this week will be over and I’ll start to rebound. I’ll get back on a normal schedule. I’ll start cooking and running errands.
But, right now, this is my time to remember Cora. This is my time to miss her so much it feels like my soul is splintered in two. It’s my time to feel like my heart might stop because of the pain of missing her and loving her.
Behind the scenes, behind the beautiful photos of Cora I share and the things I do in her name like November 30: Newborn Heart Defect Screening Awareness Day, I sit her, quietly broken into a million tiny pieces.
This week, I rely on all of you to keep me going. More than anything I want her to be remembered. Every Facebook share, every retweet, every blog post, I hungrily read and need. I need the world to know. It’s all I have left of her, her memory. I wake every day and hope for cards in the mail, messages in my inbox and posts on my wall. I might not comment, but I read them all, over and over, and tell myself part of Cora will never die. Every year, I hope someone sends me flowers to put up so I can look at them constantly and remind myself that my beautiful little rose lived, just like those flowers. Every year, someone dies, usually a different someone, I’m so very lucky.