The second year is harder than the first.
I heard it many times during that awful, surreal, first year, from many different members of the “club.” I didn’t believe it, though. How could I? How could it possibly get worse?
But it was. For me, year two without Julianna was most definitely worse.
The new normal has become…life. Our house is quiet. There’s no reason to walk through the girl’s section at Target. I make travel plans for a family of three. I’m getting used to the fact that she’s gone – and I hate it. ( I recognize that it’s necessary — “healthy”, perhaps — to accept reality, but I don’t have to like it. We live in a messed up world, and it hurts.)
I miss her most in the evenings. She needed someone at her bedside at all time. It wasn’t a burden: how I loved sitting there with the familiar lullabies playing in the background. She was usually chatty and often profound: the best conversationalist I will ever know. She didn’t like to sleep (“God says Julianna is not tired.”), but no one can defy physiology, not indefinitely. So she’d drift off and I would watch…my lovely girl, finally at rest.
It was the best part of my day. I’d be exhausted but grateful. We had gotten another day and she’d be there again in the morning.
Two years ago, she drifted off for the final time. The mornings have come – 730 of them –without her.
On that first morning after she died, I wrote this:
Such a strange, simple thought. But it has stayed in my heart, even as words have failed me.
She made me better.
I miss her – so much.
She asked me about angels, and she walks among them now. No, she runs, and I think she even soars.
She asked us to remember her always.
Remember her — please.