As I finally post numerous "draft" blog posts I had written through the first few months and year after Stella passed away, I am brought back to the time when my grief was counted by the number of months and time Stella was gone. Time hasn't miraculously stood still since then but my grief has evolved to the point where I do not naturally think of the exact amount of time since Stella left us.
Although I will never be " cured" from my grief but I believe this is a positive step in my resiliency and ability to cope. Stella's angel anniversary, February 18th and birthday is July 17th, these dates will always be important to me but as time passes and the days turn to months and the months turn to years, the length of time she is gone continues to increase but our love for Stella does not diminish, although it has limited ability to grow.
My thoughts, sadness and heartbreak doesn't crowd my life or occupy as large of a place as it used to. It's a scary thing for a parent who's experienced the loss of a child; the worst thing is the thought that our children or others may forget her.
Our life and the people in it, is constantly changing with Stella is not physically part of it. Our world is growing and these new people were not part of Stella's life or know her. This is difficult for me. It's so hard because these new friends and family are important to us and I wish they could know her or even a piece of her. That part of my grief is hard to bear. I hope we will continue to talk about Stella openly with our children, when we feel they can handle it and anyone who wants to hear and talk about her to never forget her. I try my best for Stella live on through sharing my words and my thoughts about her to the world. She deserves it and it helps me get through her not being here.
The time is now measured by moments instead of the calendar. I am reminded constantly by what is around me; I should have a 4 year old daughter sitting at our dinner table and part of our family. Stella would have started school this past September and like many other girls her age, would have been a Disney Princess for Halloween and would be so excited for Christmas this year and a great help with her baby brothers. Not knowing exactly how she would react or how she would look is heart-wrenching. I think about her every time I see a little blond girl all dressed up, as I would have done for her.
The same memories and photos are recycled in my head and around me over and over again. Stella will be forever 19 months old, frozen in time.
My grief clock now runs in a haphazard way. It is triggered to chime by small ticks versus large tocks. The small hand continues to turn around the face of the clock and measures the small moments in life, but at different times of the day; not constantly or consistently, and it cannot be planned or anticipated as it could before.
The clock and my grief is based on ongoing emotions from daily moments and large milestones versus being all of the time running in the background and set off at regular intervals in time.
The big hand now moves much slower and the resulting chimes aren't in regular intervals anymore. The chimes still sound loudly but are wound by a different lever. My grief isn't any less than it was previously but it's different, I am different and the way I grieve has changed over the last two and a half more years now. Until Stella's angel anniversary in February, the exact amount of time, I do not know.