Today I woke up with a horrible, heavy feeling weighing down on me. I had been feeling “off” all week, but this was much, much worse. All I wanted to do was pull the sheets over my head and stay there, but there were, of course, things to do, so I dragged myself out of bed.

As Heather mentioned in her post today, Rigby got hurt last night, so one of the things I had to do was take the pup to the vet. On the way over I was consumed with worry until I reminded myself that Rigby had just hurt her leg and would be better in no time. I calmed until I realized that this is exactly how I felt when Madeline was hospitalized the last time. She just had a little cold and (I thought) would be better in no time.

For the rest of the drive I felt sick to my stomach, flashing back to the horrors of Madeline’s last few days, and it made me reflect upon how changed I have been by everything that happened. There are many ways this is true, but one (small) example is that I am so much quicker to cry now than I used to be. This can be very embarrassing, especially when I find myself crying at the stupidest things like insurance company commercials, top forty love songs, and cheesy movies.

The cheesy movies are the worst. When I find myself wet-eyed during some lame emotional scene I pray that no one in the theater looks over. Those who do look over likely are amused at the sight, thinking that I am crying over the saccharine scene on the screen, but that’s not why I cry.

I cry because I miss my baby.

Grief is such a personal thing that it is hard to give advice on how to survive it. There is, however, one bit of advice that has proven itself to be more and more sage as time goes on. Here it is: Don’t beat yourself up with guilt over the times that you find yourself feeling okay or even good. The grief is going to creep back soon enough, and when it does, it will beat the hell out of you. It always does.