Ten Months

I’m not doing well.

There’s a heaviness that is, at times, crushing. It oppresses and smothers and obfuscates. It’s always there.

The depths of my emotions startle me sometimes, but, really, it’s quite logical. My daughter died – am I supposed to be doing well?

Oh, I know how it will turn out. I know that she suffered on this earth (I saw it – a lot), and I know she is free. I know that I will see her again — for eternity, in fact.

But now I mourn. I don’t get to skip over that part.

To get to Easter, you have to go through Good Friday.

And it is so painful. My God, it is so painful.

(I think God gets it. He saw his own child suffer and die. He saw Mary’s tears, and he sees mine. He knows that it can be no other way right now.)

Reality, you see, is brutal. The most difficult things I express in this space still go through a filter. Something in me wants to spare you from how bad it really is. Even if I wished to share it all, I can’t:  words are simply inadequate.

But here’s another reality that is as undeniable as my pain and requires few words:

 

IMG_4754

 

After a long, cold, gray winter, the cherry blossoms erupted, splendid and unapologetically pink. How could they not remind me of Julianna?

And then, there’s this girl – my God, did she live!

Untitled from Michelle Moon on Vimeo.

 

One year ago, she danced — as hard as she could — to the Gummy Bear song.  (Note the multicolored nails, the sticker on the BiPAP hose, and her long, ponytailed hair.  I forgot it  got that long! It was one of her goals, and  I am so grateful that she achieved it.)

 

20 thoughts on “Ten Months

  1. I think that you were so lucky to have such an extraordinary little princess in your life. Even though it was a short time on this earth, she truly did touch so many hearts. You are a very special mother, yougave her what she needed…

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  2. L💟VE HER SO MUCH!!! Thank you for sharing her, for sharing you. God Bless You All, and through your inmense grief bring healing as only He can. 💗💗💗🙏🙌

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  3. :’) I remember her April Fools’ chicken pox/measles prank from last year!!! (well, since Good Friday & Easter is like, so .. April-ly. Haha which brought to mind other related April-ly stuff. Like the prank ;-))

    huge virtual hug 🙂 I believe you know this as a physician yourself, but if things get too heavy, crushing, or oppressive, it’s okay to get help if you need to ❤ thinking of you, & reading your updates as they come, however sporadic and at a pace you are comfy with xx

    keep on keeping on, you'll be okay. And even if you're not, that's still okay cos God's got you ❤

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  4. Thinking of you Michelle 💕 I really wish I could ease your pain. So very sad for the hurt and loss in you have in your heart. Big hugs 🤗 and thinking of Princess J 💕🌸Xx

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  5. Such a heartfelt post to remind us to live like Julianna did…..thanks for reminding us that we all have to go through Good Friday to get to Easter! Her pictures always make me smile😙

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  6. Dearest Michelle and family: I wish we could take away the longing and the pain for you, but we can only accompany you on this journey, sending you hugs, and embracing all of you when you feel collapsed. But as you wisely said, you are like the Blessed Mother, who also mourned, but who knew in Her heart, She would see her beloved Son again. Take courage, dear Michelle, and know that Julianna is with you, tucked safely in your heart. And yes! Aren’t the cherry blossoms extra special this year!!

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  7. Words seem so inadequate to fill the chasm of your grief and the distance between our hearts — yours and those who love and mourn with you. I’m glad you’re finding some comfort in the beauty of Julianna’s cherry blossoms (because of course she sent them), but I also wish I could offer more than love and virtual hugs. Your daughter was and is spectacular. Thank you for sharing her with us.

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  8. No matter what the trauma- there is a time when it is somewhat accepted, and one somewhat comes to terms with the trauma. This time of turning the tide of grief— this time of finding peace with the trauma- it comes sooner for some, it comes later for some. Please take comfort in knowing that others have experienced loss and others have went through what you are going through.
    Like you wrote about Alex saying, sometimes when others are crying it makes you “feel better”. Knowing that you are not alone- and knowing that others are on your side…it can help.
    Of course all who care about your family want to see you, Steve and Alex happy and content. Sometimes, people will write or say stupid things…things that annoy you. For example…awww just feel better that is all you have to do. The people who write or say stupid things like that do not mean to be rude. They are simply doing what they think will help.
    When things are going bad… when things are going very bad…you must allow your mind to see beyond the present suffering- you must have the spark and the will to fight feelings of being sorry for yourself, feelings of utter despair. Even if only for a moment each day…even if only for a moment once a week. To pull yourself out of a dark place…it takes a spark…a spark in your mind that says you are better than that dark place. What happens yo you does not have to define you. A spark of survival…a spark of overcoming anything. I know that J wants you to have that spark inside your mind…and grow from it every day. I know that J does not want you to be sad. She even told you so. Easier said than done…and everyone grieves differently. J does not want you to be sad. THis does not mean that you will be happy about your loss, of course not. It means that you try to not feel sorry for yourself, try to press on, and know that J loves you, and this is never going to change.

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  9. That is so cute and precious! Amazing how little strength she has distally, yet she could still wiggle her neck and trunk! What a trooper! Feeling very sad for you and other parents who have to “live” through the devastating loss of a child. RIP Julianna. You are missed.

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  10. Julianna dancing and shaking her head is the most wonderful video I’ve seen of J. You can see she is full of life! I simply adore her pigtails. Thank you for sharing.

    I wish I can take your pain away, but I can’t . I wish you and your family a wonderful Easter Holiday. You were the best Mother and gave her so much love and joy, I’m sure she is looking down and smiling!

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  11. I read your post earlier today and cried. I wanted to comment right away but decided to wait a little bit. Oh Michelle, your heartbreak is so great. I think you are the luckiest mother of us all …to have had beautiful Julianna as your daughter. Thank you for sharing your heartache, your memories, your thoughts and most of all Julianna with us. She was/is indeed special and know this.. I think of her often. Peace, Comfort and Love to you and your family during this Easter weekend.

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  12. What a joy your child is and what a great little dancer. I cannot use the past tense for her, as with my mom who I lost just a few years ago. Its just not right. I understand too about the chance of seeing them when you dream. I’ll pray for comfort for you all. You have a big hole to heal.

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  13. Hold on.

    Hold on to the memories of Julianna and your conviction that you’ll be together agian. Feel her running towards you in your heart.

    And hold on.

    Hold on to Alex.
    Hold on to Steve.
    Keep them close even when you don’t know how to do anything.

    Hold on to your loved ones when you feel like disappearing.

    Hold on to life.

    No one can make it right again, but lots of people are spending you love and rooting you on. Hold on.

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  14. Hold on.

    Hold on to the memories of Julianna and your conviction that you’ll be together again. Feel her running towards you in your heart.

    And hold on.

    Hold on to Alex.
    Hold on to Steve.
    Keep them close even when you don’t know how to do anything.

    Hold on to your loved ones when you feel like disappearing.

    Hold on to life.

    No one can make it right again, but lots of people are sending you love and rooting you on. Hold on.

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  15. You are living a mother’s worst nightmare and you are doing it with grace under unimaginable pain. Please know that I am one of many who pray that God will grant you comfort and that your beautiful memories of J will lift you and sustain you until you join her on her journey and are reunited. I hope you are able to take comfort in the signs that Julianna proffers you. Embrace them, they are signs of love from her. She is soaring, let her fly, remembering she is with you and you are with her, forever entwined in spirit. May God bless you and your family.

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