Tomorrow will be the 7th of August, and it'll also be the date that marks four months closer to her two year anniversary. Two years..
didn't know what anyone meant when they said that there would be times
that the grief would just sneak up behind you and swallow you whole. I
didn't understand what anyone meant when they said that the simplest
things would bring it all back like a jolt of lightning. I had
experienced moments when the sadness would overcome me suddenly, simply
by looking at a picture or seeing her belongings and knowing she
wouldn't be back for them. All the things that triggered the sadness
were expected. In a sense I knew that these things would cause me to
hurt, and I hoped that they would. I looked at her pictures over and
over, willing my heart to break into the tiniest pieces possible. I
didn't get rid of her belongings, knowing that they'd be a constant
reminder of what I was missing. My broken heart was my way of loving
her. My broken heart was my way of keeping her near.
I found a new job, which was a huge step because I truly dreaded going to work everyday. I had stayed there because in a weird way I felt that I owed them; for giving me so much time off when Bella was born and taking me back after my leave. But I was so unhappy there and I owed it to myself to do something good for me. I really like my new job and the people are great, but this transition has proved to be a difficult one. I'm surrounded by new people that know nothing about me or my past. They don't even know that Bella existed. And that is one of the hardest adjustments for me.
I was shopping at Target the other day and I saw someone that looked extremely familiar, but I couldn't think of where I had seen him before. I continued shopping, trying to remember, but I couldn't figure it out. When I got to the register he happened to be in front of me, along with a girl who also looked familiar. When he turned to look at me, he said, "Where do I know you from?" And we stood there trying to figure it out. He started naming places and finally he said Kaiser, it dawned on me, he had been one of Bella's nurses. When I told him that he had taken care of my daughter, he replied, "You're Isabella's mother! How is she doing?" He had been her nurse in the NICU, and his girlfriend who was with him had also taken care of her. They didn't know she had passed away, and when I told them they didn't know what to say. They told me some of the memories they had of her. Another nurse was them as well, and she came over before they left to give me a hug.
Running into them was hard. It was one of those moments where grief grabbed my unsuspecting self and knocked me out of balance. Seeing them and hearing their voices took me back to those first few weeks of Bella's life. Those moments where I believed that our biggest challenge would be getting out of the NICU and finally going home. Those moments where I had been so naive to believe that our obstacles would be minimal because Bella was just so strong. The pain that enveloped me was so unforgiving. It didn't care that my heart had worked so hard to try to mend itself. It seeped through the scars and made sure that I knew it was there. It feels like losing her all over again. Only this time, I really am on my own with my pain. I can't remember everything about her and I'm so disappointed in myself for it. The second year has been a roller coaster of emotions. My breakdowns are more spread apart now, but it feels like they hurt that much more when they do happen.
And I'm scared. I'm scared for the future. I'm scared for change. I'm scared to lose Bella completely.