I have seen horrible things.

I watched my daughter die.

I saw a dozen medical professionals struggle to save her after a simple procedure went horribly wrong.

I felt her body, cold and heavy from all the fluids pumped into her.

I saw her face and lips gray and still.

Her beautiful eyes unfocused and blank.

Her skin marked with puncture wounds, her shins marred with two large intraosseous IVs.

We cleaned her, held her, kissed her, loved her, wrapped her in blankets, and then we had to walk away.

Of all the horrible things I saw, walking away and leaving her haunts me the most. I don’t know how I did it. I don’t know how.

It makes me physically sick.

My last memory of her was supposed to be on my deathbed, not on hers.

But even though these images, textures, tastes, smells, are burned into my brain, there are other ones too.

Her sweet peaches and cream complexion.

Her beautiful sparkling blue eyes.

That musical voice.

The way she smelled, like vanilla and strawberries and shampoo.

How happy she’d get when her daddy walked into the room.

The way she’d squeal when she played with her cousins.

Her laughter when she was with her grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

The way I felt when she reached for me.

I’m afraid that the bad memories will never go away, and the good ones will fade with time.

This isn’t how life is supposed to be..