At least once a week I get an email asking why I don’t write more about Maddie.

I go through patches where her name rolls off my tongue and I can flip through pictures with no difficulty. And I go through patches where I just…can’t. When even as much as I want to talk about her, the words escape me, and the only images that fill my mind are of the day she died.

It doesn’t help that all of the stories about Maddie are old. She’s not growing or changing or anything else. She’s gone and that’s…it. There’s nothing new to tell and there never will be. There are times when I can deal with this better than others.

The last few months have been particularly hard for me, grief-wise. There’s no real rhyme or reason as to why. Grief is full of peaks and valleys and I’m in a canyon right now. My flashbacks have been more frequent and my emotions have been closer to the surface. I seem to be running into kids her age more often than usual, and it’s been more apparent than ever how different she’d be…starting first grade next month, and turning seven in November. Seven just seems so old.

For me, time will never heal this wound, but it’s given me ample opportunity to learn how to deal and cope with the pain of her death. I know how to hide my heartbreak and function. The people around me never know if I’m having a bad grief day. I no longer tell people when I’m having a bad day because I’m tired of being judged for it.

Sometimes when I feel down on myself for struggling, I am reminded that it’s only been five years since I watched my daughter die. Sometimes I want to shake the people who tell me to get over it and focus on my living children. I can miss Maddie while still focusing on my living children. These are not mutually exclusive actions.

There are days when parenting Maddie’s memory is too hard and the unfairness that she’s gone is too much. I want to scream from the rooftops over everything she’s missing, but I don’t because many people think grief has an expiration date that I’ve long-exceeded. I get tired of the sideways looks and polite exasperation, so I keep it in.

I don’t write about her more because sometimes I just can’t take one more person telling me that how I feel is wrong.


Missing her will never be wrong.