I don't care how much time passes, you NEVER get over it. You NEVER stop hurting. You NEVER stop missing and wishing and hoping and praying. You just don't. It's not possible.
I have become a master at hiding my feelings on the inside. I'm not sure if that's something to brag about, but it's reality. I love to laugh, which I think comes from the fact that it softens the pain a little every time. My philosophy in life is, "One can never laugh enough." I think that just goes to show, in some ways, how much softening I need for the pain that I carry everyday.
I miss her. I seriously miss her so much. I ache for her. I yearn for her. I hurt for her. I go on for her.
Sometimes I think watching your children grieve can almost be worse than your own grief. Ava has always had a strong connection with Hailey, both before and after her death. But lately, that strong connection has become bittersweet. It keeps her sister's memory alive in her heart. It makes her want to talk about and hear about her sister. It makes her want to know her sister more and more. However, it also makes her miss her sister, cry for her sister, wish for her sister.
Tonight she came to me crying and told me that she just misses Hailey so much. These times are so dang hard for me...beyond words actually. I hugged her and she decided she wanted to go to bed early and look at a memory book I made for Hailey of her first year of life. We laid side by side and looked at all the pictures. I explained what was going on in the ones where she was in the hospital covered in tubes and wires and then told her funny stories about the ones where she was laughing or covered in food all over her face. (I can't believe how much I've forgotten about Hailey's first year of life. All the hospital stays, brushes with death, surgeries, setbacks, triumphs, pains, and joys.) After looking through the book I had tears streaming down my face. Ava put her little head on my shoulder, her arm across my chest, and asked me to tell her more stories about Hailey. The moment was one that most parents will never experience with their 5-year old daughter, but me, I experience it often. It is precious...sacred.
I hope and pray that I am helping her deal with her grief properly. I never expected her to actually grieve. She was only 9 months when Hailey passed away, so I guess I just assumed we'd talk about her memory and Ava would know she has another sister but it wouldn't go beyond that. Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. And although it is tremendously painful, I'm grateful that I was so wrong. I'm grateful that she adores her sister so very much.
Just last week Ava told Sean that she was sad it was taking Hailey so long to come back. Apparently, she was hoping Hailey would be back by Halloween so they could eat candy together.
Most 5-year old children can't wait for their birthday or Christmas or popsicles for dessert. Not my 5-year old...she simply can't wait for her sister to come back home.