I miss her. I miss her like I knew her. It feels silly sometimes, but I just do. I miss her like she lived a whole life, and I don't have to clarify that I have a death certificate and no birth certificate. I miss her like she breathed and ran and was a little girl who kissed my neck and made me squirm.
I can't even really mentally process what two years looks like in the alternative universe where Lucy lives. I'm not clever enough to imagine it really, or maybe my brain just protects my heart in that way. One little darked-haired, red-cheeked girl running after her light-haired, red-cheeked older sister, like a couple of little whirling dervishes through my kitchen. All worship instincts in me ignite. But I don't know. Maybe it wouldn't have been like that. Maybe it would have been harder than simply being appreciative of their presence, after all she doesn't die. I cannot take this knowledge into that universe.
I decided to fix a right and proper photo album for my children's lives today of all days. One through the years, so that if the photo hosting site I have used for the past five years suddenly crashes, we still have evidence that we existed too. And so I worked my way through the months of photos, clicking one after another into the cart. The void right there at December 2008 is palpable. We look so sad, so broken, so old. I found a picture of her in me still, all full moon belly, eclipsed by my embrace.
I have not cried today, right and proper. Just a few tears when my daughter stared into my eyes before naptime. And she was dropping tears too. I asked her why she was crying and she said, "She just missed."
I just miss too. I miss everything. I miss Lucy-girl. I miss a life I never knew.
A full moon lunar eclipse on winter solstice. It felt magical and important. So, I set my chimes for1:30am, I bundled up in a zero degree bag with some coffee. My sister came over in the middle of the night. I felt giddy. I lit a candle and watched the moon slowly become covered in a shadow, and then turn copper red. This process, slow and deliberate, felt like the ritual I had been searching for since her death. Not an invented thing, just apart of the world and its cycles. She died, like everything else dies. And we rose the next day, like everything else rises. It gets light and dark again in our world like everyone elses.
Thomas Harry woke sometime in the depth of winter solstice, and my husband bundled him up and added him to my bag. I laughed with my sister. We talked about Lucia's birth. And her death. And our lives now. Then I grew quiet. Everything felt magical and strange. How did this happen? How did I get from there to here? How did Lucy become a solstice goddess to me? When did she stop being a dead baby and become a worshipful thing? A transition, a gateway to hope and loss and sadness and winter?
As I sat in the dark of solstice night, I remembered this conversation in the car yesterday. Thor began crying apropos of nothing.
"Mama, Thomas Harry is crying because he misses Lucy."
"Hmmmm, I know, baby. Do you miss Lucy too?"
"Yes, she died and I can't play with her when she gets bigger because she died."
"I know. That makes me sad. I miss that about Lucy."
"But she is still in our family, though, because we love her soooo much."
"Yes, that's right. Did you know that Lucy's birthday is in two days?"
"We should bake her a cake and I will blow out her candles for her."
"We can do whatever you want to remember Lucy."
"Mama, I have dreams of Lucy, and we play together and I share my toys."
"I dream about her all night."
I have not had a dream of Lucy since she died, but I have winter solstice. It feels so presumptuous to take a whole seasonal transition. Though selfishly, I want more. I want more time with her. I want more everything with her. I want to take her for granted. I am sick of this life. I am sick of wondering who will remember and who won't and what I should say to my new friends, and what I shouldn't say to people who think we should be over this properly. I am so tired of this life being so fucking complicated.
I just miss her. I miss her like I knew her. It is as easy and complicated as that.
My husband and I are so moved by the cards, the messages on Facebook, Twitter, email and in our daily lives. Thank you for remembering our girl, for thinking of her during the solstice.