Over the last few nights, I’ve spent hours reading the blog posts written about Maddie after she died. There were over 500 posts written, which is overwhelming in so many ways. Members of our family read every post as they came in, but three years ago I could only process a few at a time. Now I can handle the posts and the comments, even though they all make me cry.

It’s hard, this passing of time. The emails and texts checking in spread to nothing. The sympathy cards stop arriving in the mail. The comments slow. People really do move on with their lives, as they should. You don’t want them to think about your broken life every day.

Except you still think about your broken life…every day, because you have no choice. It greets you when you open your eyes each morning. The holes are gaping, and the guilt is inescapable. You eventually learn how to function by ignoring the weight of it all. But sometimes it’s so crushing you literally can’t stand on your own two feet without toppling over.

Those are the days you want to scream, but you don’t because you don’t want to be selfish. Time has passed, and everyone is tired of your grief. They have their own weights to pull, and you don’t – you can’t – expect anyone to put their own down troubles down to carry yours for a while. Not again.

So you’re quiet, sinking slowly. I’ve been sinking slowly. But I’ve been looking everywhere for life preservers, and these posts and comments are helping. So many of them, written by people I will never meet, expressing their sorrow and their promise to remember my girl.

On the days when I feel like no one remembers, I cling to the words of the people who promised they always would.