It’s harder now.
In the beginning, I was anesthetized by shock. I still can’t believe it, but I can feel and see change all around me. And she is still gone.
The weather has turned, and the stores tell me that it’s almost Halloween — and Christmas. I wonder what she would have been this year. Last year, I pointed to her closet full of princess dresses and asked why she needed a Halloween costume.
When she said it like that, it meant “Do I really have to state the obvious?”
It was my cue to fall in line. Of course — who dresses up as themselves on Halloween? And that’s why she was a cowgirl last year.
How I miss her clarity, her way of distilling whatever life threw at her (and it was a lot) and championing just the important things.
It’s not that she had a simple mind. She said that her brain was “always going,” and I believe it. She was an effervescent deep thinker. I think that she gave us just the tip of the iceberg, the things she thought we could handle.
I wonder if I do the same thing. Writing has become my way of distilling all the stuff that is swirling around. Lately, it hasn’t been very palatable. It doesn’t seem to fit onto this blog, the pale pink space intended as a tribute my Julianna Yuri.
I want it to be lovely because she was lovely. What she went through, though, was hideous.
Here’s the iceberg, the part I can I can put into words, that is: My world has been rocked and nothing makes sense anymore.
I have shoes and t-shirts that have been with me longer than the time I got with my daughter. Many, actually. I threw some out when I realized this. Why is it so easy to hang onto meaningless things and lose what is precious? (Even in my mini-rage, I can hear her. Mom — don’t throw them away! What did they do to you? )
This is writer’s block with a side of grief: there will be no new stories, no new conversations.
I had a daughter. Everything about her physical presence on earth was a struggle: my pregnancy, six months of colic, the quest to walk, the fight to live, the realization that she wouldn’t, witnessing the deterioration of a five year old body.
The easy thing? Loving her. She was pure joy.
So it comes down to love. It always does, and it saves me. It’s the only thing stronger than the pain.
My sweet Julianna – I love you so much.
How proud Julianna was of being in kindergarten. This is her, reading to her class via FaceTime. (Somehow, I take great comfort in knowing that she learned to read…)
Knowing that your child is loved and remembered is a salve to the rawest of wounds.
Earlier this month, I learned that this is up in Julianna’s school. The toys and program are from her tea party. The note inside reads:
Julianna attended Woodburn Elementary for preschool and kindergarten. Although she was unable to attend school as much as she would have liked, her presence was felt in her classroom. In kindergarten, Julianna FaceTimed with her class every day. Her time with us was much too short, but she will always be a Woodburn Wolf. She left a lasting impression on all who had the privilege to know her.
— Julianna Snow, 2010-2016, Class of 2028