14 November 2012

The top nine things Grace has taught me during the last nine years

1. Grief is not something you get over, you move on from, you lose, misplace or forget about. It doesn't just disappear from your self. It is complicated, vibrant, fluid and takes you on a journey to places you never, ever expected to ever go. Some of those places you never want to return to but others are filled with light and beauty.

2. I will always miss Grace, and nearly each day, upon waking and falling asleep Grace is on my mind just as my other children are.

3. My relationship with Grace never dies, simply because she cannot be here in person. Our relationship has grown and changed over the last nine years. 

4. Grace has taught me more about love, joy and happiness in these grief-filled nine years than all the other 36 years I lived without her. 

5. Grief is way more complicated than I ever imagined even though since the age of five, I'd been grieving the death of my father.

6. Grace taught me that my behavior in high school wasn't bad or wrong--my behavior was misdirected grief for the death of my father ten years earlier. Learning that in my 30s was eye opening.

7. I haven't perfected letting go or giving up control, but these last nine years have forced me toward trying to do that more often. Most days I still fail, but Grace shows me that really so very little is in my control. I'm still grappling with that.

8. Losing a daughter sucks. Big time. And leaves a big fucking hole in your heart. And once in a while a self-pity party is just fine thank you very much.

9. Nine years of missing her is no less painful than all the other years. It's different, yes. But I miss her. Every. Single. Day. And that will never change. So don't try to change that.

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