2 weeks away from 3.
Just over two weeks from now, Aria Noelle turns three. I’m so confused by the reality that so much time has gone by since the day she was born. It doesn’t really seem possible. The feeling of holding her in my arms still feels so fresh and to be honest, so does the grief.
I admit it is a little different three years later. I can still recall the way it was in the early days, the way grief dug into me like a hundred knives all at once. I still feel that ache in my throat as I tried to stifle my constant need to scream. Those feelings are mostly memories now, but I’ll never be able to forget them.
My grief hasn’t gotten any lighter, I’ve just continued to grow around it. My endurance for grief has improved in a lot of ways. I can say things I never used to be able to say out loud, and I can stomach grief triggers that used to send me into a tailspin. But I still haven’t been able to suppress the telltale shake in my voice when I tell Aria’s story. Even now I occasionally find myself sneaking away in public settings to give myself a private place to cry. Because no matter how much I learn to carry my grief, the passage of time brings a new challenge: I miss her more the longer it has been. The longing grows, the curiosity about who she would be builds. At three years old her little body would be filled to the brim with personality and growth. I wonder about all of it.
To comfort my heart as this milestone grows near, I find myself repeating the phrase “until heaven” today. I will wonder, I will grieve, I will long for her... until heaven. All these years will wash away and answers won’t matter because she’s in my arms again.
For now, birthdays will be bittersweet.