Forever in My Heart Friday. FIMHF. Week 40. There is no glue for my broken heart, no elixir for my pain, no going back in time. For as long as I breathe, I will grieve and ache and love my daughter with all my heart and soul. This week proved to be a pivotal one for me as I watched things unfold around me that I couldn’t control, that being the weather. I slowly endured the state of anxiety and panic as Tuesday came and we were under a tornado watch. In the past, I have always been that person that was not afraid of the storms. My grandfather was a storm chaser and the thrill of storms and the possibility of tornados always excited me, as I have seen many in my life. I always took the necessary precautions with supplies in the basement. Kids and I ready to retreat if needed into safety. I have always been one to say that everything is materialistic and as long as I have my children safe with me, everything else could be replaced. You can’t replace the lives of the ones you love. But now my perspective on all of that has been altered drastically. Now all I have left of my daughter, who died, is materialistic items. I cling to those. I cherish each drawing she did in pre-school, her baby book, her school papers that I kept over the years, the pieces of hair I took from her head as I unbraided it in that hospital room after she passed away. That is all I have, memories and materialistic treasures. As the storm clouds moved in I was consumed with unbelievable panic and apprehension. I felt as if I was going crazy, losing control of myself. Of course I couldn’t tell anyone I felt as if I was going crazy. I’m supposed to be the strong one right? But my situation began to feel hopeless and my thoughts were jumbled. I rushed around the house and started to rip her pictures down that were framed on the walls. Grabbing bags and filling them with anything and everything I could find around the house that was hers. I packed up the curio cabinet filled with her ashes, candles, gifts that people sent, pictures that her brother and sister have made in grief counseling, everything from the funeral, the white dress that was cut in half by the mortician that I wanted her to wear that was sent back, the hospital bag of her belongings that included the clothes she wore last when she was alive, Barney slippers, personal hygiene items, her Zumba jacket that she loved so much, that was all I was left to walk out of that hospital that horrible night without her. These are the items that I keep in my room so that I can on occasion, pull down out of the closet and hold to my face, to press against my nose and breathe her in, to feel her with me. Items that I keep tightly wrapped in that hospital bag because I fear one day, they will no longer smell like her. I watched as her brother and sister do the same, filled with the same panic and anxiety as me. They begin to run around the house in panic and gather up items as well that mean the most to them. Corban has 2 stuffed animals, both rabbits that he received in grief counselling. One is “Cuddles Myesha”; the other is “Little Myesha”. As we all carry bag after bag down to the basement in hopes that if the inevitable strikes we won’t lose what little we have left of Myesha, the materialistic stuff that never would have mattered until now. But the storms passed. Or have they? I have now been confronted in an extremely painful and stressful paradox; faced with a situation in which I must deal both with the grief caused by Myesha’s death and now with the inherent need to continue to hold on to as much of her as possible. Then the next day, to only be recon fronted with the pain of putting everything back in its proper place, my grief likened to a raw open wound. I know that with great care it eventually will heal but there will always be a scar. It often seems as if I’m taking one step forward and two back. Grief has its common and its unique sides. Like a snowflake or a fingerprint, each person’s grief has characteristics all its own. I find it’s more helpful to remind myself that I do not have to have a timetable of how I should feel, or when I will get better. All I can do is take one day at a time, or half a day, or one hour at a time is sometimes more realistic. It may take much longer than I would like before my zest in life returns. Undoubtedly there are no rules, no boundaries, and no protocols for grieving. Mommy loves you Myesha. FIM <3 F.