Our Missing Girl

Lately we find ourselves missing our missing girl a little more than usual.  A year has passed, twelve swiss cheese months full of random gaping holes.
We know Celia was not more special, and we are not more tortured, than anyone else.  But doesn't every parent feel like their child is utterly unprecedented, like losing one would be the end of the world?  We know we’re not the only family to go through a devastating health crisis, and yet ours is the story we know best.  Our instinct continues to be to bring it here, the beauty and the angst, and we could apologize for regurgitating the same thoughts and feelings, but her influence is all that remains and we're afraid of losing that too.

She's been dead for a year, a symphony of days lived in a variety of tempos and timbres, slow times and minor keys and supersilence.  Without the constant bass line of her care, like the drone note of bagpipes, we didn't realize what had been playing till it stopped, and then the tacet emerged a tangible thing in its own right.  The boys keep us busy and fill our home with noise, and our hearts are always two-thirds full, but some days all we hear is silence, all we feel is one-third empty. 

We are thankful, still, for parts of it.  For the discoveries we made about ourselves and about each other.  For the humbling opportunities to need help, and to accept it.  For the chance to find, if not optimism, at least strength, in the face of adversity.  For the glimpses of beauty we may not have otherwise noticed.  For our child with the spirit of a warrior and the face of an angel.

Writing about it here, over and over, our intention is never for you to feel obligated to illuminate it somehow.  But could you do something to honor her memory today?  Light a small candle or raise a generous glass.  Make a modest donation or do an extraordinary kindness.  By all means, hug your pets and your people.

The BDSRA office has moved.  Their new address is 1175 Dublin Rd. Columbus, OH 43215


Sara said...

I am thinking of you and your sweet, amazing family. Much love to you all. I'm hugging my puppy tonight.
Sara McIver Williams

Anonymous said...

Always as with Celia, you four are all in our hearts! Love The Donahues

Anne Caughey said...

It is so good for me to see someone else's path through grief and loss. Thank you for sharing your story here. Your blog and Emma's got me through some of my darkest early days in this journey.
We are honoring Celia today in our home.

Tiffany said...

I knew this day, this year, this everything about this would be so difficult for you. I promise that you are all never far from my thoughts and Celia and you have inspired me to love more deeply and soak it all up. xoxo

And also? Your words are so eloquent.

Groves said...

When I can make

Of ten small words a rope to hang the world!

"I had you and I have you now no more.”

{Edna St. Vincent Millay}


January, even as it peered through a pushed December, belonged to Celia and to you.

I felt it, knew it, heard it coming. It isn't that The Day changes the pain - the pain stays. It is a drumbeat of memory and reminder, though.

The world is not, will not be, the same. I think she was more special, yes. More special, because there is no other of her. No other Celia. Of course, you feel that way - and others join you. She matters. Her life matters. Her death matters.

I have no right to miss her. She was never mine.

But I do, and my heart hurts for all of you who know, truly know, what it is to bear her missing-ness.

Remembering and remembering, longing for what is to come, and shedding tears for girls with red curls.


Anonymous said...

God Bless you as you remember your sweet daughter.

Amy in MI

teresa bowen said...
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