Wednesday, February 22, 2012
It's maybe a mile from where I'm sitting now... I chose this specific therapy location not because it's closest to our house, but because it's close to those rolling green hills that just a year and a half ago meant nothing to us. Two days a week, I'm so close.
At first, I wanted to go there. I mean, as much as a mother can want to go to a place like that. For whatever reason, I felt a need to be there. To go and talk to her and make sure that as often as possible someone was there for her. At first, if I could have made sure that someone was there every day, I would have.
But lately, my feelings towards that place have changed. I hate to think it, I hate to say it- it feels like the words burn my mouth. But lately, it feels like an obligation. The amount of guilt that accompanies this thought and feeling is indescribable. What kind of mother feels like it's an obligation to go visit the place where her daughter rests?
I used to feel like I had to go there to feel close to Ellie. But I don't feel like that anymore. I've always felt that her spot is just where her body is, it's not Ellie there. The Ellie that we loved disappeared from a PICU room on October 24th, 2010. Sometimes, I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that it's really her body in that casket anyways. The baby that was in the casket when it was closed, did not even resemble our sweet girl... Her happiness, her joy and her sweetness are not buried in the ground.
It might sound weird or even a little hippie, but I really believe that the essence of our Ellie left her damaged little body and spread itself out into the world. And we see little pieces of it all around us...
We see her beautiful face in the pink and purple sunsets and sunrises.
We are reminded of her little attitude whenever a light burns out in our house- which it does quite often!
We see her joy and sweetness reflected in the kindness of others who so willingly contribute to Ellie's Light, and by those strangers who reach out and let us know that Ellie will not be forgotten.
Ellie isn't here anymore, but she is all around us. She is on my mind all day, every day. And lately, the cemetery just serves as a reminder of what we are missing. It's so obvious in our every day life and I don't like going to the cemetery and staring down at a beautiful headstone that bears my daughter's name.
Surviving the loss of a child is a conscious decision. Every day you have to choose to keep going on. And for me, that's easier to do if I focus on the happy memories and reminders of who Ellie was and what she is still doing even now as an angel. I really feel like going to the cemetery only sets me back.
Am I in a little bit of denial? Possibly. Am I trying to protect myself from things that I don't want to think about? Definitely. Is it selfish? I'm not sure...
I really don't think Ellie cares that I don't go to the cemetery as much. I still take care of her spot and make sure that decorations are placed for each holiday, but I don't just go out there anymore. It's a hard thing to put into words... I want to want to go out there- for Ellie. But I don't feel like I need to. There's a lot of guilt... It's hard to be at that place with that headstone that bears her name, but it's hard not to be there too...
As time goes on, I'm sure my feelings towards the cemetery will evolve. And hopefully, eventually, I can come to a place of peace about whatever feels right... Either way, whether I'm there or not, I miss my girl. I love her. And I am constantly thinking of her...