Wednesdays are hard.
But everyday is hard.
Thursdays are the hardest of all. Especially in the early morning hours. The memories are haunting.
I woke yesterday morning from the same nightmare I've had every night for the last 3 months only to find that my nightmare isn't just a dream...its my real life.
I stood in the shower, the same space I spent the last eight years praying for my baby in, and sobbed.
Its private in there. Thats why I always spent that time in prayer for my precious Ashley. Now I use it not to pray but to cry, because I truly can't pray anymore(and don't know if I will ever be able to again).
I cried so hard I ended up vomiting.
My family... my home...my heart is just a shell of who and what we were. Broken. Shattered. Hurt.
The holiday was empty. The whole season is. Its not the same. Its never going to be the same. We will never be us again, because one of us is gone. Forever. She's gone. There will never be another family picture...another Christmas card sent...
I feel her absence every moment of every day. I feel it in everything I do. I panic when I realize I forgot to grab her bag before I left the house. I can't breathe when I look in the rear view mirror and realize she's not there. I fall apart as drive along the streets I spent hours driving with her...for her...just because she wanted to.
There is no joy here.
When you have witnessed, and felt, and experienced, and held the very essence of true joy and then to have lost it... the absence of it in your life leaves a sadness so suffocating you struggle to just breathe. I truly have a hard time breathing when I'm still.
I wish I could be the shining example of faith in loss and grief, but I am not. I am honest. So I will tell you that faith is hard. Its a daily fight to hang on to it. Marriage and motherhood and life are all hard too. Waking and moving and breathing...all hard. I wanted to be so much more than what I am, but I wanted for Ashley Kate to keep living, and giggling, and breathing too. Things don't always work out the way we wish they would.
I don't come here and write because its too ugly to share. There are no happy endings. No inspiring thoughts. No sweet moments or stories left to share. There is grief and it is ugly.
Please, I beg you don't give me advice or instruction or your opinions because what I have learned is that until you have dressed the precious body of your daughter and brushed her beautiful hair for the last time, or whispered in her ear how desperately you loved her, or watched your son kiss her tiny forehead, or your daughter caress her baby sister as she breathed her last breath, or stood by as your husband carried his little girl's body from our home to lay her in their car, and watched as strangers sealed a stone across the door of her tomb, then you don't know.
You just don't know.
And I hope you never do.
I miss her desperately. I miss my life. I miss who I was.
Enduring the absence of my daughter in my life is the hardest thing I ever been forced to do.