I go to bed at night and lie there, looking in the dark at the spot where she used to lie; as though somehow if I look hard enough I will be able to see her; as though somehow if I stare long enough she will appear. The thought that keeps going through my head is “She was here. She was here.” Am I trying to convince myself? There are times it really does seem like a dream. My mind is trying to protect me from the crippling knowledge that she is dead. I can hardly believe it is real. How could something this horrible really happen? Isn’t this why we have medical technology? Isn’t this why we have medicine and surgeons and modern miracles? Where is she? This couldn’t have really happened, could it? I have the frightening situation repeat itself over and over. I’ll be somewhere with my older two girls, and I nearly jump out of my skin because I don’t see one of my kids. Then I realize that it’s her I don’t see, and I will never see her. She’s not missing. She’s MISSING. Forever. Oh God. Just when I think I’m getting ahead in this awful, painful, clawing my way out of the pit, it hits again. My baby is dead, and there is nothing I can do, and she will never come back. No matter how much I try to act as though things are getting back to normal, I know they never will be. I live my life now in shackles. I drag my chains with me and try to pretend for a few minutes that they are not there. What a joke. None of my pretending, or ignoring, or searching will change the fact that every night when I go to bed, I will lie down next to the spot where she is supposed to be, and cry myself to sleep because she is not there, and never will be.

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