As we head into my favorite holiday weekend (fireworks! hot dogs! ice cream! America!), there is an important day that will come first. Tomorrow will be 9 months since saying goodbye to our little Sloane. While each month has seemed important for various reasons, 9 months is significant, for after this, she will be apart from me longer than she was with me. This feels terrible, because it feels like she is becoming more distant. But in some ways there is freedom and peace the farther out we get, as I know she is still with me and I feel stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have felt the burden of grief lifted at times. 9 months is a momentous marker in time, for good and for bad.
I have been in MS for about 2 weeks now, and while it is the 3rd summer we have been here, this summer has posed some unique challenges. Sloane is always on my mind, and I always want to talk about her and share her, but I do not always trust strangers or even acquaintances with this special and sacred piece of my life. The question becomes, how do I honor her while still protecting my heart? I don't have the answer to this yet. Typically, if people ask, I have no problem saying I have a daughter who died. The following awkward and uncomfortable conversation that follows is something I have become accustomed to. The problem comes when people don't ask. Because truthfully, looking at Josh and I, you would make the assumption that we don't have kids, so how would this even come up? But that aspect of our lives has played such a critical role in who I am, in everything I do, that it feels wrong to not share that part of my life. The difficulties of losing Sloane change and transform in their shape and magnitude, but I do not think they will ever go away. It will always be hard.