222 Days

I tried to write a poem today; tried to get the emotions out that I just can’t seem to express normally, at least not effectively. I’m too critical of myself, though, so I stopped short. Maybe it’s reflective of my actual experience – I can’t finish this journey because I can’t move on from Cate.

Maybe that’s reading too much into things.
Like today’s blog title indicates, it’s been 222 days since Cate left us. Not even arguably the hardest 222 days of my life. Between the utter devastation of losing a child and the sheer joy of bringing another child into the world, our life, our family, I honestly have emotional whiplash.
Last night, as we packed up Olivia’s newborn clothes and got out her 3-month clothes, I was simultaneously so happy that she’s growing and healthy, sad that time moves too fast, and grief-stricken that we were only organizing one child’s clothes. That instead of organizing Cate’s clothes, too, we were instead putting her hospital box (with her tiny hat and onesie that weren’t even close to small enough, the card with her tiny footprints, the measuring tape that marked her length and Olivia’s) and her keepsake box (currently just a run-of-the-mill cardboard box with the quilt made by her Gran, the toys we got that matched Olivia’s, her half of their matching outfits, and even the maternity shirts I had made to advertise I had twins on board) into the top of Olivia’s closet.
Out of sight, but never out of mind.
I feel like a broken record because I’m always saying, “I want my baby to come back,” and, “It’s just not fair,” and even, “Please tell me I’m going to wake up soon.” I think I’m stuck with one foot in denial and one foot in anger right now. I can’t move through this part.
I just want someone to please tell me why I couldn’t bring both of my babies home. I want someone to tell me why, after all that we went through to even get pregnant, our joy was snatched away from us. I want someone to tell me why God thought I couldn’t handle raising twins, but I could handle this pain, grief, anger, torment day in and day out.
There is no reason why, though, and I think that’s what makes me the most angry. I’m an answer seeker. And there are no answers here. Just sadness and doubt and wishes for normalcy that will never come true.
And what there also is is Olivia. Our little fighting miracle. There is complete awe at her daily changes and growth, at her abilities, at her sweet little face as she tries to figure out this world around her. There is Peter, slogging through the daily grind and never begrudging me a sad day, loving me through it all even when I’m probably pretty difficult to love. There is family. There is hope that the pain will lessen with time.
It’s been 222 days,

My dear,

Since last I heard your heart.

222 days,

My dear,

That we’ve been apart.

I felt you kick,

Carried you close,

Loved you more than life.

And now you’re gone,

Cannot come back,

And missing you feels like a knife.

Your sister will know you;

She already does

Because you watch over her at night.

The world will love you,

Never forget you

Because I’ll never give up the fight.

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