If you came to the house, you might think nothing is wrong.

There are pictures of happy times everywhere.

Toys are still out.

A stroller sits with a favorite blanket draped on the handles.

A high chair has crumbs from a meal in the creases of the chair.

The pink push car is ready to go.

In the garage, a car seat sits in the back of the car. 

Clothes hang in the closet, some with tags still attached, waiting to be worn.

But the dining room. The dining room tells the tale.

Leftover funeral programs are in a neat pile. Posters of her face lean against the walls. The table we once sat at for family meals is now covered with framed photos, presents from friends old and new, and a large basket overflowing with hundreds (thousands?) of cards and letters. 

And in the center of the table sit her urn, a posthumous handprint, and two little curls. 

A shrine to our daughter, both beautiful and terrible. 

Three months ago, the doctors couldn’t save her. We’ve been living a nightmare for three months. Not a long time, but a lifetime. 

We have a lifetime of lifetimes ahead of us. Every day that passes takes us further from the last time we touched her, held her, kissed her. 

It’s unbearable pain that we somehow must bear. To live your whole life without your child…it’s unfathomably cruel.