Tomorrow will be four years since my beloved daughter passed away. The pain, when I have the strength to really let myself feel it, is still so intense and raw. I have gotten better with four years of practice at pushing it to the back when I just don't have the energy. It's always there, but I have more control over when I let it out.
This year, I have the added pain of losing my mother. It is like grief x 2. Double the grief. These days, I ooze grief. Here's my mom holding Natalie in January 2007, shortly before Natalie died. My mom was the last one in our extended family to see Natalie. She made the long trip from Las Vegas many, many times to visit us and be with her granddaughters, who she loved so much.
My mom was always such a loving support to me, especially after Natalie died. She would always call, and later she would email me pictures of the little arrangements she made with candles and little jizo dolls from Japan. They were so sweet and touching. My mom felt the pain of losing her granddaugter so much. She said she wished it had been her instead. She said that's how it should have been. She is right. Natalie's early death was not the natural order of things. Now, sadly, my mom has passed, too. And now I feel more alone with my grief than I ever have. I miss you, Mommy. And my precious baby girl, you are forever in my heart. I love you, and I miss you so much, sweet Natalie.