Today Lexi came to me and asked, "Mom, do you ever feel like Hailey never existed because she's been gone so long?" OUCH. I almost fell over. That stabbed me right through the heart. I think partially because I do feel that way sometimes. I told her that I don't feel like she never existed, but I do feel like my memories aren't as clear anymore. That is why I feel it's so important to continue talking about Hailey so often...all the time, actually. So she always remains an active part of our family and life. She completely agreed and I assured her that it was perfectly okay and normal for her to feel the way she does.
My biggest fear in this whole process is forgetting Hailey. It is absolutely terrifying. I know that I'll NEVER actually forget her, but the vivid memories of her every little move, expression, sound, etc. are slowly fading. What life was like with three kids at home seems to be a distant memory. I forget how I dealt with them all, how I managed to get them all dressed, fed, down for naps, to bed at night, while still keeping them healthy and happy (most of the time!).
It takes a lot of concentration and deep thought for me to hear the sound of her voice again. (And to think that I used to pray that she would just be quiet and stop yelling all day!) Trying to remember her laugh or the way she talked or what made her smile is getting more and more difficult...and it hasn't even been officially a year yet. What about in five years, ten years, twenty years? It makes me sick to think that she still won't be here with me then.
That hurts. It's so tremendously painful. The guilt I feel is beyond words. I don't want her to think I don't still love her or miss her or think of her every single second of the day. It's just that the thoughts aren't so clear and vivid anymore. I have to actually work to get the images and sounds in my mind. I think in some ways it's a blessing to have the memories slowly fade a little. As they become more distant maybe the intensity of the grief and pain will too.
I know my posts have been a little heavier recently, but I've really been missing her a lot lately. I'm not sure if it's because the one year "anniversary," is coming up in a few weeks. August 11, to be exact. My mother's birthday, to be exact.
The reason I put the word "anniversary" in quotation marks is because, to me, it's not an anniversary at all. I feel like an anniversary should be a joyous event, something to be celebrated...and this is nothing of the sort. I know everyone who's lost a loved one has a specific name for that specific date and my mother had a wonderful idea of what we could call Hailey's. Thanks to her, we now call August 11th, Hailey's "Heavenly Birthday." So now she has an "Earthly Birthday," when she was born here and a "Heavenly Birthday," when she was "born" in Heaven. Plus, my mother and Hailey now share a birthday. (Hailey was named after her!)
Anyways, thanks for reading and continuing to walk beside me even when I'm not so up and up.