It's been five months since we lost her, and I still feel dead and empty inside, still feel the loss of our little girl keenly. As has been the somewhat surprising norm in this situation, Sharon is coping well, and I'm a near constant wreck. She's had a few bad days after the initial loss, I tend to have bad weeks and fortnights. In the midst of one of those now.
I hide it well, not deliberately, it simply gets pushed to one side so I can continue to function. And I have been functional, but only just. The last few weeks have been so very hard, the business is running but still not at the level it should be and that's purely down to depression taking its toll on my productivity and ability to work.
It's all so hard to put into words. Today's the approximate point at which all the theory as to how we would be as parents would have become the scary reality. That we would find no matter how much we had planned and prepared ourselves, we weren't ready, because nothing can truly prepare you for it. That child of yours will surprise you in so many ways, and therein lies the horror and the joy.
There are no more surprises to be had from our daughter - she's a still point in time and space, sitting as she does in her small urn - unchanging. She'll never surprise us, never disappoint us, never hold us, delight or horrify us.
I'm going to ask that people resist replying to this with hugs. Most of the time I can deal with cyber-hugs, but today... I appreciate the thought, but it's too much like giving a starving dog a rubber bone. There will be one person in five who doesn't leave me feeling more lost and alone by offering me a hug through text.
Now it goes without saying that our daughter would have turned out as a mix of shazgirl and myself. Tracy would have had her own personality, threaded through with aspects of each of us. But there are many women in my life who I care about and love, who are strong, interesting, intelligent, compassionate, creative, delightful... I love that these people would have been around for her to draw off and learn from. Here are just a few...
Aunty Gwen, Aunty Marg, cousins Suzanne and Ann, celuran, hespa, swirlability, tikiwanderer, rachelholkner, kaths, ariaflame, sjkasabi, bunnikins, lie_xin, kattilz, fearofemeralds, tearsxintherain, Sally Cowper, Robin Clark, Janeen Webb, Bernadette Thomas, Carol Moseley... the list goes on and there will be obvious people I think of after posting that I'll kick myself for forgetting.
I'm blessed to have so many amazing women in my life who personify so many traits that I feel are important, - strength that doesn't use force, intelligence that doesn't forget the heart, love and compassion that is unconditional - None are perfect people, there's no such beast, but if Tracy had turned out like any of them, I would have been as proud a dad as you can imagine.
I love the concept of parallel universes. Always have.
At a time like this, I can only hope that in the myriad of possible outcomes, this was the only one in which our little girl died. And that those other Dannys and Sharons know how truly lucky they are. I could wish that they had had the death, and that we had our little girl safe and warm in our arms, but the truth is, I'd never wish that on anyone.
Happy Un-Birthday Tracy, you'll always hold a special place in my heart.