One thing I can say for sure is that time does NOT heal all wounds. It definitely makes them a little less sore and a little more tolerable, but they are not by any means healed. I actually feel this year has been my hardest since my first, although I'm really good now at not showing it on the outside...at least not through tears.
On the inside though I've been so sad. I've felt very vulnerable, insecure, fearful, overly sensitive, etc. I have that pit in my stomach all the time and my heart flutters when I stop and think about her. My heart has been on my sleeve and my feelings are hurt a lot easier right now, probably because I'm already hurting. I feel lonely even though everyone around me is so supportive. I think it's just the longing I have for my little girl.
I seriously miss her so much and often feel like 5 years has been long enough to live without her so it's time to bring her back. I've passed the test. I stayed faithful to God and my religious beliefs. I've done tons of service in her honor. I've stayed strong for my family. I've helped others around me who are also grieving. I've created a beautiful legacy in her honor. The list goes on... But now, selfishly, I want my reward. I hate to admit that, but it is what it is. I don't want to live another 5 years, 10 years, 50 years without her, yet assuming I live a safe and healthy life that is most likely my reality. Yuck.
Ava has been showing real signs of grieving lately and I'm not sure where it's coming from since she was only 9 months old when Hailey died. It could be the fact that she can sense my renewed grief and pain or that she is getting older and the reality is setting in that she's really not coming back in this lifetime.
This morning she came into my room and woke me up and told me she was feeling like she wanted to cry about Hailey. So I rolled over, lifted up the covers and she climbed in beside me. As I hugged her tight a few tears slipped down her cheek. She kept asking me when she was really coming back because it's been soooo long and she wants to see her soooo bad. It is impossible to put into words what that does to a mother who is already grieving. My heart broke for her. I'm worried that she'll start to get impatient and "give up" on Hailey.
Then today we went and had milkshakes at Hailey's Place as a family and as we were leaving Ava ran over and "hugged" Hailey and told me she wanted to cry about her again. I told her she could cry about her anytime she wanted and I would be there to hug her every single time.
I've found over the last five years that the months and days leading up to Hailey's Birthday and the "anniversary" of the day she died are often worse than the actual day. The anticipation sucks. The constant thoughts of what we should do to "celebrate" her life turn over and over again in my head. On one hand I want to do something super special in her memory, yet on the other a part of me wants to just go about it as a normal day and pretend like it never really happened.
Well this year, as every year so far, we're going to do something fun as a family to celebrate both her life and my mom's. She passed away on my mom's birthday, which obviously makes it that much more difficult. We were all supposed to go to dinner that night, but of course never made it. So now we say that Hailey and my mom share a birthday. Hailey's Heavenly Birthday and my mom's Earthly Birthday. And we try to celebrate that day, instead of being sad. It usually ends up being a "beau'ful" day!
At Hailey's Place Tonight
The kiddos and their milkshakes
Ava hugging Hailey
(Every time I look at this picture my stomach does a flip flop.)
Ava "crying about Hailey"