When our daughter passed in 2000, my family was thrown into disarray. Somehow, my husband and I learned very quickly just small communication tools that allowed us to help each other through it. You would often hear in our house “I’m just having an Ashley moment”, which meant a tough moment missing her but that we didn’t want to talk about it. We use this even today.
Our struggle with this is not over. The loss of a child is different from any other loss. There are similarities in the grieving process but this kind of loss stays with you no matter what you do. I think about her at every birthday, at every special occasion, close to the date we lost her, and still on random days as well.
That moment split our life in two. Life for us will always be before and after. I miss the before. I miss doing her hair and singing with her. I miss our talks and her laugh. But, that was before. It’s been many years now in the after. Life in the after is so different. There will always be an emptiness without her here. My opinions on so many things were changed by that one moment.
Life in the after means learning to live life over again. It’s like learning to walk all over. We stumbled a LOT at first, but more and more we have found our balance. There are moments when we still lose the ground beneath us and have to grab something and hang on, but they are fewer than at first.
She was only 8 years old when the moment struck, when the car struck, when our lives all changed forever. I will miss her every single day. I know she will always remain with us in our hearts, but life in the after is not the life I had envisioned in the long ago. That life seems like a dream now, only a memory of a dream.
related post: In Memory of Our Lost Child