Six Months

Dear Leah,

It is December 21, 2016. Today you would be six months old. If you were here, your dad and I would be relishing in this snowy-white December and celebrating each moment of our first holiday season with you. It still frustrates me to no end to see the rest of the world adorned with bright lights and festive cheer, impervious to my sadness and oblivious to your absence.

Indeed, with each passing week I become more painfully aware of the joy that seemingly surrounds me at every turn—other people’s joy, expressed by the smiles and laughter of those whose lives are untouched by tragedy. Lately it feels like I am existing in an invisible realm that is completely disconnected from these non-bereaved people, observing them from afar without the ability to comprehend or share in their happiness. Each day I stand alone, outside these parameters of joy, clinging tightly to my tear-filled memories of you.


Yet even in your absence, you remain my constant companion. I find myself overcome by a state of paralysis each time I catch a glimpse of a dark-haired baby in a crowded shopping center or a bundled-up toddler in the park. They make me wonder about the girl you would be growing into before my eyes each day, just as they remind me of all the experiences we have been so cruelly deprived of.

People often say that you are still with me in spirit, and some days I believe this to be true. Yet this sentiment does little to quell my aching arms that long to hold your living, breathing body. Still, I do find solace in any material relic that pays tribute to your life. This week I brought home a crystal angel ornament that I will hang in your memory each and every December in the years to come. It is a meager substitute for the ornament that I had hoped to purchase for your first Christmas this year, but I do draw comfort from its symbolic beauty. 


Likewise, the abstract notion that you continue to live on in my heart cannot possibly compensate me for the lifetime of memories we have been robbed of. I long to watch you fall asleep at night, to hold your warm skin against mine during late night feedings, and chuckle as you fuss and squirm during a diaper change. It cuts me deeply to think about all the hugs, kisses, and “I love you’s” that we will never get to share—so deeply that I occasionally wonder if it is possible to die of a broken heart.

It has been six months of a lifetime in which I will continue to ache for you, my firstborn daughter. Yet during my darkest grieving moments I remind myself that, if given the choice, I would do it all again. These days it seems the only resolution that brings me some semblance of peace is the knowledge that every moment of joy you brought me during our brief time together is worth the anguish that greets me with each new sunrise. I miss you, my darling girl, more than words can possibly say.

 All my love and a kiss,

Your Mama