September 2, 2010.
When I write the date, it all comes back to me. I retreat into the shelter of myself, braced against the hurricane of grief. The hurricane bears my daughter’s name. I am carried on winds I cannot brace myself against. I am pelted with rain. I am everywhere. I am nowhere.
I know I am not alone. We mothers of dead children find each other. We have been initiated into a sisterhood no one wants to join. We can speak our children’s names to one another, talk about how we are changed, share stories of our child and no one tries to change the subject. Or walk away.
I go about my life quietly, silent in a grief only the initiated understand. In this world without my daughter, Andrea, I grab my pen and paper, I sit in front of my computer, I write. Then I share. I am mapping the latitudes and longitudes of grief I travel through each day, each week, each month, each year. Without a compass, no points to mark the way, I am often lost. But I keep moving.
I create my posts to remember where I have been, and of the moment I am in. I still do not know where I am going. That is not important now. It is only important that I keep moving. And that I break the silence surrounding the event no one wants to even imagine, let alone have happen—a child’s death.
I am a mother. I miss my daughter Andrea. In losing her, I am finding myself, a new self. My grief is always there. There are no stages. The whisper of her existence is the first thing on my mind each morning and the last thing at night. I feel her around me. She bathes me in warmth before I fall asleep. She visits me in dreams.
And she has told me—when the winds blow, the colors are incredible. I will love it there, where she is now.
For now, I am here. I am among the living.