It feels like a wound. A wound that is so deep and so personal and so raw and so fragile. It has been four months since Kamri died, but the pain of the wound feels like it’s been no time at all. The wound is consuming and engulfs everything in its presence. Our thoughts, our work, our daily to-dos… they all come back to Kamri.
We are so much more fragile than we used to be. My capacity for anything, for everything, is so much smaller. The hiccups in the week feel crippling. A couple of weeks ago, I forgot my lunch in the fridge at home and didn’t realize it until Mitch and I were already on the road to work. Any momentum I had for the day was lost, and it was ALL I could do not to make him turn the car around and take me home so I could crawl into bed and stay there for the rest of the week.
Grief makes it really hard to focus. I find that I can’t do anything for long periods of time any more. I need more breaks and more pauses and more “okay, I’ll just come back to this tonight or tomorrow” than ever before.
Really, we just feel hurt. My feelings have been hurt. It feels like God knew what we wanted most in this world, gave her to us, and then took her away. She was everything I’ve ever dreamed of. Everything that Mitch ever wanted. Down to her fluffy, brown hair, her little peanut of a body, and her button nose, she was it. She was everything. We had her and now she’s gone. I am so hurt by that.
Everything hurts these days. Most people would assume that Mother’s Day was hard. It was. But so was the day before and the day after. Every day is hard. Every day hurts. It hurts to walk by her room on our way out the door. We say good morning and good night to her every night. It hurts to sit on our front porch and take walks around our neighborhood. Those are both things we did leading up to Kamri’s birth and things we wanted to do with her. It hurts that every other picture and post on any social media platform seems to be someone else that is newly pregnant or in the throws of pregnancy or is watching their baby grow and getting the chance to experience it. It’s hard to avoid it all, but we try because it hurts. It hurts to see ad after ad for Pampers or ClearBlue on TV. We already lost her, we know she’s gone… do we really need so many reminders? It hurts to have moments of joy and laughter. They are fleeting and only last for just that… a moment. It hurts to not care about anything. That doesn’t feel like us because it’s not who we used to be. It hurts that so many things were taken without our permission. Our daughter, our house, our passion, our work, our relationships. Everything has been affected, everything has taken a hit.
Sometimes we wonder if God knows that He hurt us; that by taking Kamri away, my heart has darkened a bit. That my soul is weary from missing her, from wanting her. Does He know that without Kamri, I will never be who I used to be, who I should have been? That without her, we are shadows of the people we once were?
We have learned part of the road map of grief as time goes on. In the beginning, the pain was sharp and jarring. We were unfamiliar with a world without Kamri and every time we would remember that this is our reality, the realization was piercing. The intensity was such that it would literally take our breath away. The hurt has since evolved. Where before, it felt like we were taking gulps of air in between punch after punch to survive, we now live with a constant dull pain. The hurt is always there, but it is not as sharp. It is not the slap of reality every time we remember because at this point, our minds have grasped that this is it, this is our life. There is less “forgetting and then remembering”, less waking up in the morning and it all flooding back. We are aware that this is our life. Our minds have caught up. I am actually thankful for this change in season because it is exhausting to experience the trauma of remembering over and over again. In some ways, it was just as traumatic as the day she died.
Our hurt now is just a slow, constant burn. It is something that just resides in our hearts and minds, but doesn’t pierce as often as it used to. Every so often, yes. Mother’s Day was actually quite lovely, for the most part. I woke up to a house full of love notes from Mitch and Kamri. Mitch and I spent the day together, biking along the Wilmington Riverfront. We ate a seafood dinner and chocolate cake for dessert. We did not go to any family parties because that would be too hard, we just spend the day together… him and I. It was a good day and I didn’t spend much time thinking about the fact that it was Mother’s Day. By night, though, I think my mind was so tired of not thinking about it that it was just time. I cried and cried and Mitch just held me. We talked about Kamri and what we missed about her. We talk about her often, every day actually. We talk about how beautiful she is, how sassy she was, but most of all, how sweet and loving she was. Our sweet girl. The hurt is there, a constant, dull presence. Everything seems duller… colors, smells, music, experiences. The world has dimmed for us.
I think that such a deep hurt has a way of altering every aspect of your life in that way.
To my sweet girl… I miss you. My heart hurts. Sometimes it hurts so deeply that it feels like I can’t keep going. Like I don’t want to. Oh, Kamri, I wish you were here. I wish I could see you again. I wish I could hold your hand and kiss your neck. I wish I could smell your head and feel your soft hair. You are perfect, Kamri… every single inch of you was exactly what Mommy and Daddy wanted, what we dreamed about. I love you, sweet girl. Tell Jesus to come back soon… Daddy and I will be first in line.