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Make or Break

It is almost fourteen years to the day that my little girl was born. She was beautiful and she was too special for this world.
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Cork, Ireland
Cork, Ireland

You have those moments in life that can either make you stronger, or they will break you. For me it happened a few years back. I lost a part of me that I will never regain. Today, it still hurts the same.


It is almost fourteen years to the day that my little girl was born. She was beautiful and she was too special for this world. That is a completely untrue statement that I use to make myself feel better, along with a million of other cliches. She was incredibly beautiful and special though, that part is very true. She also deserved to be here. I miss her more than anything. I can still remember how it felt to hold her. I can still feel those little baby hairs on my cheek, as I rocked her to sleep. I miss her so deeply that it still hurts every second of each day.

There are times I get angry, at myself, at God, at the world. I don't really know who I am mad at but I need someone to blame and everyone seems appropriate. There are times I feel at peace with it. Most of all, I feel guilty. I feel terrible because I have moved on without her. It is years later, and I think I am still processing it in many ways. The death of a child is something a parent should never have to cope with. It is against natural law.

The few days after we let her go were a blur. I cannot tell you what happened or where I was. I know I went through typically mommy motions because I still had my son. He is the one who got me through it. I often say that if he had not needed me during that dark period, I would not be here today.

My son was three at the time and he needed a mother. So, I made myself get out of bed in the morning. I made myself laugh to make him happy. Eventually, a long while later, I stopped having to force myself. It all became easier. The motions became normal, the pain turned to sadness. It was a time in my life that could have went one of two ways. Thankfully, I chose the right path. I have a beautiful family, but there will always be a hole where she should be.

The confusion of why she is not with me never goes away. It is not fair. I am a good mom. I have my flaws, but I truly love being a mommy. Daily, I look at my children and I wonder what her life would have been. I think of how she would have changed us. It makes me hurt when I think of how long it has been since I have held her tiny hand or heard her cry.

My daughter's passing was one of the main contributors of my divorce. Of course, there were many others, but it added an elephant's weight to an already collapsing bridge. I think I resented my husband because he was able to just so simply go back to life. I felt like I was left behind.

He had an affair to escape the pain, and I put all my energy into being a mom. We grew apart and eventually hated each other. I moved on. To this day, I still put all of my energy into my family. I live to make my daughter, and all of my kids proud of me. I believe they are.

It is amazing how one day in your life can make or break you. One decision, one word. Everything after will never be the same. You never expect that day will come. You never anticipate that moment when you wake up in the morning, but when that second comes you know you are facing it. Be sure you take the right path. What matters isn't that moment, but everything that comes after it. That day, I did not know it was the last day I was going to hold my daughter.

When I look back, I am comforted to know there is nothing I would do different. That day changed me forever. I now hug my children harder and I love them deeper than I ever imagined possible. If any good came from her death, that is it. I appreciate everything so much more.

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©2016 Tre Harrington, as first published on Nonperfect Parenitng