When people find out I have a daughter in Heaven, they often say, "I can't imagine what that must be like".
Here is what I want to tell them (but I don't because I am too kind).
It is like having your entire being crushed. It is like having your heart ripped out of your body, you entire sense of self and all security you've ever had taken away.
It is a physical pain that can't be described. When you cry, it comes from a place so deep and so dark you surprise yourself that it is even there.
When you sleep it is fitful. You can't sleep without medicinal help. You don't want to sleep because you dream of your old life, your child, the way things were. But then you wake up and in the fog of sleep and awake you find yourself frantically searching for your baby. You don't want to sleep because waking up hurts too much.
As time passes everyone goes back to life as it was and you just can't. You still cry at the drop of the hat, you end up at the cemetery laying next to your child's grave wishing you were with her. You put on a brave face for others, but inside you are dying.
Years pass and people say, "Oh that must have been so hard". You reply with, "Yes it is".
People who meet me now and see that I have 4 beautiful children think that I have only 4 beautiful children. When they learn I have a 5th, an Angel waiting for me, they often say, "How did you do it? How did you have more children?"
I didn't have a choice. I couldn't stop living because Emma was gone. Believe me, I wanted to, but I knew that she had siblings that needed to come to Earth.
It is not easy though. The first year of my children's lives are filled with my anxiety.
I worry. I worry that I will lay them in their beds to sleep and come back only to find them gone.
I worry that I will send Seth to check on Elliott and he will be the one to find his brother dead.
I force those thoughts out of my mind, but they always come back, ready to haunt at any given minute.
The other night, I went to the store. Alone. I was panicked the entire time. Elliott was home asleep while Jeremy and the kids made dinner.
I convinced myself that I would come home to ambulances and firetrucks all around my house, and my baby would be gone.
This happens every time, with every child. With Seth, I went to the gym when he was 4 months old. Jeremy was home with him. I was going 1 mile away. I got there, and was in such a panic I couldn't even go in. I turned around and went home.
I remember running into our apartment, eyes red from crying, and rushed to my baby. I held him and just cried. I was so convinced he'd be gone when I got home, I was shocked that he wasn't.
That is a portion of what it's like.
It is hell to lose a child.
It is terrifying to have more.
It is my life though, so I do it the best I know how and am grateful for every minute I get with each of my children.