January 17, 2020

Dear Eva,

Ever been in the shower, on your knees, just letting the water pelting you? Running over your head, tears running down your face faster? Knowing that you aren’t broken, but feeling like you are completely in pieces, all over that shower floor? This is what my grief looks like some days. This week has been hard. Just when you think something should be easier, it feels like it gets 17 times harder. Birthdays. Birthdays are the hardest. Your birthday, my birthday, daddy’s birthday. They are all hard. Mine was Tuesday, and now it’s Friday, and I’m still reeling. I didn’t expect this birthday to be so hard. I feel like I never expect anything to be hard anymore and then it always is.

There’s this thing about my birthday that haunts me. To this day it sucks the life out of me and I honestly can’t pin point exactly what it is. On my 25th birthday, exactly 2 months before you passed away, my dad insisted to my mom that they have a glass of wine. They sat down with their wine and sent me pictures and called me. They were celebrating my birthday, my accomplishments, 25 years of being parents. After you passed away, last year and this year, the days leading up to m birthday all I can think about is my mom and dad sitting down for that glass of wine. Like I said, I have no idea exactly what it is. Is it because I’ll never get to do that for or with Eva? Is it because I don’t really understand why my dad insisted on it? I mean, I know it was out of pride and excitement. Maybe it’s a little bit of jealousy. I mean, in a way, Jordon and I will celebrated Eva’s 25th Birthday in our own way. With a bike probably, and a glass of wine for me and a beer for him. It still just won’t be the same. It will be a different kind of pride. Pride of how we’ve survived, pride of how we’ve grown. Still, not the same.

Every birthday is another step forward, a step forward that feels like a billion miles away from you. The further forward we go, the deeper the wound feels when it breaks open. It scabs over, and then things come up, and it breaks open and bleeds. It feels worse every time. I also struggle with feeling like this is all some weird alternate reality. You know what’s worse than that? The fact that sometimes I have to remind myself that you WERE here. That the alternate reality isn’t that you are gone, that it’s actually you being here. I will go into my phone just to find pictures of you to remind myself that this isn’t a nightmare, and that you were here, you were and still are my first daughter and my greatest love story. That is a god awful feeling. No parent should ever have to feel this way. It’s scary to admit that. Even to myself. It’s incredibly hard to write that.

I always feel like I need to put on an act for people. That if people see how sad I actually am most days, they will judge me. That they won’t understand. That they will think the worst of me. Why I let myself think this way is beyond me. I spent most of my day today being told to relax. The people in my life know that I’m anxious, that I let the littlest things make me crazy. I know that it also makes them crazy. They hate that I struggle so much. They love me so much that they don’t want to see me hurt. Yet, I don’t listen. I let myself get so deeply stuck in my own head that I crumble. That I can’t see reason. That I can’t see that nobody thinks the things that I think they do. Thing is, they do not understand, and hopefully they never ever ever have to understand. Hopefully they never have to feel the weight of the loss I feel every single day. They don’t understand me, but they also don’t judge me. My heart knows that, only sometimes my heart struggles to convince my brain. One day it will get easier, after a lot of soul searching and hard work, but I will get there.

It’s been a long week. A really really long week. Again. Hopefully the coming days will get easier. My birthday is behind me, and I’ll have a little break before anymore big days come our way. Which will make a huge difference. These things come in waves. Ups and downs. Lots more ups these days than downs but somehow the downs seem worse. Lower and stronger. But the ups also are higher and last way longer. It’s a cycle and it’s natural and healthy. Grief isn’t a straight line, it’s not supposed to be. I will survive this, and i will strive because of you. The lessons that you continue to teach me will make me a better person. I promise I will let this make be a better, stronger, kinder person. This won’t make me cold. This won’t make me bitter. I promise, Turkey Bird.

Love and Kisses,

Your Mama.

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