It’s been one year…
The thing about time is that it just keeps going. It never stops, never slows. This is a harsh reality to live with when you're grieving. Hours turn to days, days to weeks, weeks to months, and suddenly a whole year has passed. And every moment of that time feels as though it is separating us all the more— as if there is an ever growing distance between my baby and me.
Some people say that this time will heal. I don't believe this to be true — I can't imagine a time when I will ever feel better about not seeing my baby girl grow up. I can't imagine a time when the pain of remembering her last breath won't cut me to my very core. No I don't think time heals all wounds. What time does is forces us to keep going, to keep moving forward. But moving forward does not mean moving on. How could you ever move on from your child?
It has been one whole year since our baby girl died. I worry that people will expect us to start moving on now, as if there is some magical timeframe where the pain will disappear and we will get back to normal. But you see, my normal was shattered into a million pieces the day Nora died — it cannot be repaired. This is who I am now. I am Tiarnán's mum. I am Maeve's mum. I am Clodagh's mum. I am Nora's mum. Always. I am broken and I am full all at once. I smile through teary eyes. I feel joy and sadness as if they walk hand in hand — because in my world they do. They always will now.
So I will keep speaking my Nora's name. I will tell her story to anyone who cares to hear it. And I will celebrate her every chance I get.
It has been one whole year and I have a lifetime of love to go.
My letter to my Nora
It’s been one year…
One year since we said goodbye
One year since we last kissed your cheeks or stroked your forehead.
One year since we last bathed you, dressed you, combed your hair
One year since we last read you your favourite story
One year since we last sang you your favourite song
One year since we last saw you snuggled beside your twin sister
One year since we last held you in our arms.
It’s been one year…
One whole year of missing you baby girl — and we’ve missed so much...
We’ve missed seeing you get well
We’ve missed seeing you discharged from the hospital
We’ve missed seeing you come home
We’ve missed the gentle patience you would have created in our lives
We’ve missed having you here adding sweet complication to our chaos
We’ve missed seeing you get to know your brother and sisters
We’ve missed seeing the bond between you and Clodagh
We’ve missed taking you on our family walks and adventures
We’ve missed seeing you roll, and sit, and laugh, and cry
We’ve missed looking into your big brown eyes — how we’ve missed your eyes
We’ve missed a whole year of photos with you
We’ve missed a million kisses, a million cuddles, a million smiles
It’s been one whole year…
One year of grief.
One year of love.
One year remembering you.
One year searching for moments full of you.
Oh Nora, you are the golden rays of the sunset.
You are the glow of the moon.
You are the glitter of the stars.
You are the perfection of a flower.
You are the dappled light in the trees.
You are the pictures in the clouds.
You are the countless butterflies that have fluttered into our days.
You are the shining joy in your brother and sisters eyes.
How blessed we are to see the world through you, because of you, with you — always with you.
So today, this day that marks a year since you’ve been gone, we thank God for the gift of you baby girl. While we will never understand why he called you from us, we will forever rejoice in the knowledge that he chose us to be your Mummy and Daddy and he chose you to be our baby girl. We are so proud of the life you lived. It may have been short but it was so full of love, courage and strength — enough to inspire us for a lifetime. It will be our pride and our joy to always keep your memory alive.
Yes, you’ve been gone a year. But we will carry you Nora, into all our years ahead.