I think it’s safe to say that most of the time, I feel happy. Jillian is still on my mind constantly, and I still feel a lot of sadness, but for the most part, I’m able to think about her and smile. Every now and then, the grief sneaks up on me when I least expect it, and during those times, it’s more painful than I can describe.
Last night before I went to bed, I noticed that Willy (who, by the way, has turned out to be the most annoying cat in the history of animals, but I love him anyway because he’s also the sweetest cat in history) had knocked over the framed picture of Jillian that sits on Dave’s nightstand. I picked it up and apologized to Jillian, and I felt the grief creep in. I sat there for a minute trying not to cry, and when Dave came in and asked me what was wrong, the black hole opened up.
I became inconsolable. I call it a black hole because whenever this happens, I feel that familiar ache in my chest, and I start thinking that no matter what happens, I will never be happy again. I picture Jillian in my mind, moving around in her isolette, alive and fighting for her life. I feel such a sense of failure while this happens, and I think during these times that no matter how many more children we have, and no matter how much happiness they bring into our lives, my little monkey will still be gone and nothing will ever make it better. It feels like my world is closing around me when this happens. My entire body hurts and I feel like I can’t breathe.
I’m usually able to bring myself out of this by reminding myself that most days are good and that I have to be strong for Jillian. Sometimes it is easier to pull myself out and sometimes it’s more difficult. Sometimes when it happens, like last night, I have one side of my head telling myself that I can survive, but the other side is saying, “see, you’re not going to make it.”
As I sit here now, I know that I will be fine. I am fine. It’s a different sort of fine. Being fine now is not what being fine was in my old life, but it’s still fine. I know that I will survive, but that I will always have a hole in my heart. I’m okay with that. I’d rather have this hole in my heart and be able to remember the greatest love imaginable than not feel this pain and have missed out on my sweet girl.