I received a text yesterday from a friend. A friend like me. She lost her daughter Kate at 4 years old, the year before we lost ours. It read… “All these years later do you just, right in the middle of the day, become consumed and crushed by grief? It’s happening a lot to me lately. And like… you want to scream about it but no one’s really listening anymore”
A few months ago I decided to start marking in a notebook every time I thought about Eliza in a day. I’m sure that sounds strange to some people but I just wanted to know. It didn’t have to be a sad thought just anytime she popped in my head even if it was only for a second. I didn’t tell anyone that I was doing it I would just quietly put a mark down on my little pad of paper and then I counted. 172 that was the number. That was how many times I thought of my sweet girl in one day. Somedays I was in the frozen section of Trader Joe’s and spotted the hash browns or I was walking into work and feeding the fish or driving home and passing Mt Trashmore. She is never far from my mind just like Kate is never far from her mama’s mind.
But what do we do with these 172 thoughts that sometimes make us stop to catch our breath. Does any still want to hear about Eliza’s love of hash browns? This is when it gets lonely because I don’t have new memories to share. I have 4 1/2 years of memories and for a life that should have lasted 80 more years their isn’t a lot left. People always say “time is precious” most not even realizing the gravity of that statement. I wish I would have written a memory for every day that she was here. That would have be 1,642 memories… if only I had known.
So yes to my friend, I am frequently crushed by grief. And yes I often feel like no one is listening, like I’m the only one that wants to remember. As I continue living with grief I want people to know that it’s hard. Wether it’s been 5 months, 5 years or 50 years those 172 moments will still pop up when you’re not excepting it. They won’t all be as sad as in the beginning, but it will still hurt. It will still make you wish for the days that they were here with you. You will still have regrets but you will find people that won’t let you sink in your regret. People will still have a hard time bringing up your tragedy not because of the way it might make you feel but more because of the way it will make them feel.
Everyday I miss my sweet little girl Eliza and every morning when I wake up I smile knowing that I’m one day closer to heaven one day closer to being with my girl. But for now I will look forward to those 172 moments remembering her .
“ I found my life when I laid it down. Upward falling. Spirit Soaring. I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground” Touch the Sky by Hillsong