Last year I wanted nothing but to talk about and write about my daughter -- or rather, the loss of her. I wanted to get that story out of me.
But after the first anniversary of her death, something shifted inside me. I made it through when I wasn't sure I would. In that first year, I sometimes wondered if I would just crack. But I didn't. So the first anniversary of her death also turned into an end-goal. If I could make it to that benchmark sane, I knew I wasn't ever going to lose my mind.
Jeremy and I watched an episode of Doctor Who last night where a man was so devastated by the loss of his wife and child, he literally lost his mind. He forgot who he was. I understand how that could happen.
Last year was like holding my breath, and this year is like finally exhaling. I'm not sure what the future has in store, and I'm not sure what path all of this is leading me down. I'm lost, in a way, but at the same time comfortably found in the arms of my husband and the love of friends and family.
I found myself wanting to move back to Lafayette recently. Life was good, there. That's where Jeremy and I repaired our marriage, where Jeremy quit smoking and started his own business, where I got pregnant with Scarlett, where I gave birth to Scarlett and where we raised her for the first year of her short life. I realize that it's not really Lafayette I want to move back to -- it's that life. I miss that life. I miss my daughter.
Last year I knew I had a book in me. I knew this story needed to be told. This year, I can't tell it. I can't bring myself to type out that story again. I'm scared, frankly. Scared to dredge up that pain when I am finally starting to get some peace.
I'm not completely at peace, but I'm getting peace. In fits and starts, the grief is becoming more bearable. I'm living with it in a more constructive and less parasitic way.
I thought I would write that book when the grief had eased a little. Now I'm not sure I'll ever write it. That's okay, though. This blog is enough. The last thing I need is to feel guilty for not writing a book about such a horrible event. If I ever write it, great -- if I don't, I refuse to feel guilty.
That, right there, is Scarlett's gift to me. She clarified what matters in this life.