It has been six weeks. Six weeks since the doctors at BC Children’s Hospital told us that they had done everything they possibly could, but our baby girl was still going to die. Six weeks since we sat in a little room and made the impossibly difficult decision to unplug her from life support. Six weeks since our miracle, the baby we were told we would never have, died in my arms.
It feels like a lifetime.
It feels as though I have been living with this relentless pain and emptiness since the day I was born.
Yet life goes on and I continue to carry the pain around with me, trying to lighten its load by finding ways to smile and things to laugh at. It’s always there and it hasn’t become any less heavy, but I know that someday it will become bearable and the world will start spinning at a regular pace again.
For now, though, I do my best to get by – sometimes minute by minute – and to allow myself to feel all of the emotions and physical reminders of Cora’s brief presence in our world. Sometimes my memories of her make me smile and other times they make my knees buckle when the weight of this grief becomes too much for me to shoulder. But through it all, I feel pieces of my old self returning.
I still can’t find find the constant optimist and positive thinker within myself, but more and more I catch glimpses of the Jo who thrives on helping others and enjoys making other people smile and laugh. I’m not sure if that Jo will ever fully return as Greg and I fumble our way through finding a new “normal” in our lives, but at least I know she’s still in there and she hasn’t been entirely erased by this colossal tragedy.
I miss Cora. I no longer know what the future holds. All of our hopes and dreams for the future included our daughter and now we find ourselves standing before a huge, blank canvas just waiting patiently to be painted with some new version of our life without her. Who knows when I’ll find the strength to start fleshing out a new scene on that canvas.
For now, each day brings fresh grief and new challenges, but each day also brings stronger shoulders and new ways to deal with the knowledge that Cora will always be with us, just not with us.
I hate Thursdays, but I hope your Thursday is progressing better than mine and I wish you all enough…