There’s an ebb and flow to grieving. On the better days grief is manageable and I carry it around like something in my pocket – there but tucked safely away. Unfortunately, those days always lead back to the ones I am having now where grief looms large, pushing down on everything I say or do.

On the better days I try not to linger too long on photos or videos of Madeline. On days like these, however, I find myself lost in her photos and videos for hours at a time. Seeing her face and hearing her voice again is wonderful, but also incredibly painful. It makes the horror of what happened so real by putting before my eyes the very thing I am missing the most.

Last night I had a dream where Annabel and Madeline were both alive and together. It wasn’t a pleasant dream though and left me unnerved when I woke. In it I remember showering Madeline with love and attention (after having not seen her for so long), but whenever I did someone would come over and tell me to leave her alone. “She’s going to die,” they would say. “Don’t you understand? She’s going to die.” We can all play armchair Freudian analyst and try to decipher the dream’s meaning, but in the end its only definitive meaning is that this whole situation sucks.

And yet I have to somehow keep moving forward. Annie made that clear this morning when she crawled over and made a funny face at me. Our normal routine is for me to make the face back at her, but this morning I wasn’t in the mood. After a second or two of Annie staring at me in anticipation though I knew I couldn’t let her down, so I forced myself to make the funny face. Annie, just like all the other times, giggled and giggled. I don’t like having to fake my way through things, but in days like these it is the only way I can get by.

I know in my head that these days will somehow turn into more manageable ones… its just hard to convince my heart.