Someone described grief as a wheel as you circle through the same emotions over and over. That is accurate, I’d say. I also think for me that my grief is like an escalator. It’s going down, and I am struggling against it to get to the top. Some days I can climb a few feet, and other days I am way too tired and I just go lower.

I am in the depths right now. Things are hitting me, knocking me breathless. I’m NEVER going to see my daughter again. She’s never going to go to Kindergarten. I’m never going to hear her sing Christmas songs in a school play. She’s never going to tell me a joke. I’m never going to get to take her to buy a prom dress. She is GONE, FOREVER. I’ll never know what she would have looked like as an adult. She’ll never fall in love and have passions. She’ll never grow up, she’s going to be a toddler in my mind forever. I’ll never hear her say mama, or hear a child call her mama.

When I can’t stop myself, I realize that I could live another fifty years. Fifty years without her! That seems like a prison sentence. Fifty years to wonder what she would have been doing, fifty years to watch her little friends grow up without her.

I think about Binky often, about how we are going to tell him or her about Maddie. And I am so scared of the day Binky asks, “why isn’t my sister here?” Because I don’t know. I have medical jargon I can quote, although even the doctors don’t know what went wrong, how she went from improving to crashing so suddenly. But how do you explain this to a child when you don’t even understand yourself?

It’s terribly unfair that Maddie isn’t here, and it’s so unfair that Binky is going to get a lesson in grief and loss before he or she can even say the ABC’s. I couldn’t protect Maddie from getting sick and dying. And already I can’t protect Binky from a terrible loss and eventual sadness. It is so hard as a parent to know that my Binky is going to hurt and I can’t do anything about it!

I’ve been on this escalator for seventeen weeks now. Just a fraction of the time I will spend going the wrong way on the escalator. And while I know I won’t always be on the bottom, I know it will always be impossible to reach the top.