Every morning when I wake up, I am hopeful this was all a bad dream. And then I realize that my daughter is still dead, and I whisper to her that I love her and that I'm sorry.
I spend a lot of time wishing this was a bad dream. Wishing I could feel her kick right now. Wishing this story was someone else's. That I heard about it and thought, "Oh, how tragic, how horrific, how terrible for them." And then kiss my daughter.
But that's not my reality, and it's as though I need to keep reminding myself of that. In my head, I keep repeating, "Your daughter is dead. Your daughter is dead. Your daughter is dead."
I do laundry, thinking about how my daughter is dead. I vacuum, thinking about how my daughter is dead. I wash dishes, thinking about how my daughter is dead. I read to my son, thinking about how my daughter is dead. I try to choke down dinner, thinking about how my daughter is dead. I Facetime with my sister and niece and nephew, thinking about how my daughter is dead.
I take my son to daycare, thinking about how my daughter is dead. Thinking about how I need him to be there, in a safe place, so I can go home and concentrate on his dead sister.
So when I can talk to others about how my daughter is dead, it feels like a relief. Like let's just sit here for 3 hours and talk about how my daughter died. I'll probably repeat myself, because this story is only so long and there's no new information to share, Lydie is still dead. But I'm still working through it, I'm still repeating myself. I'm still reminding myself that my daughter is dead.
And when you ask me about it, and I cry, you are not making me cry. I cry all the time. You are letting me cry. You are letting me talk about her. Thank you.
Maybe that's why it's so frustrating to have others act normal, to try to have normal conversation with me. Because I'm talking about how my son is starting to string together words or my niece loves purses, my head is saying, "Your daughter is dead, your daughter is dead, your daughter is dead." And when I don't acknowledge those words that are in my head - that Lydie is dead - that voice in my head starts to get louder and louder and louder. It starts to scream, "YOUR DAUGHTER IS DEAD, YOUR DAUGHTER IS DEAD, YOUR DAUGHTER IS DEAD." Maybe that's why over Thanksgiving, when my family sat around eating and laughing and telling stories, you might find Justin or I quietly reading a blog or an article about stillbirth. Because guess what? Our daughter is dead. And right now, that feels like a way to connect to our daughter. That might be why, when I sat away from my family, working on this blog and crying, and my sister came in to check on me, I yelled at her, "Why are you all acting so fucking normal?"
Some moments, I'm still hoping I can awake from this nightmare. Some moments, I think I have dreamed the entire pregnancy and awake to find everything just as it was ten months ago. Some moments, I think about how I'd do anything - anything - to change this. Some moments, I wish I heard about this family that lost their daughter and think how horrific it is. And some moments, I just sit around thinking about my dead daughter, about who she would have been. But all moments, all moments, I remind myself that Lydie is dead. It's as if I continue to remind myself, it will become less painful over time.