Monday, December 2, 2019

This Week

Grief feels like lethargy these days.

The duration of this heaviness is shorter than in previous years, but yesterday the calendar turned to December and my heart sank with the flip of the page.

I was trying to explain it to David last night... how I feel tired. Just knowing someone else is remembering Eliza is a gift because it starts to feel like something I carry alone. I'm grateful that Share continues to hold the candlelight vigil on her birthday because it's always something I can mark on the calendar, a prior commitment that holds that day apart.

Because otherwise maybe I would be okay enough to agree to doing something else? Or maybe I never would? And I'm honestly not sure which would feel worse.

I dread going to bed this week. I watch TV or read until my eyes burn, until I can be sure that sleep will greet me almost the instant I turn off the lamp because I just don't want to be in my own head. I don't want to think about what nine years means or who I would be with her here or who she would be at nine years old with long hair and loose teeth and a big laugh. I see her as some combination of her sisters with a something that would be just Eliza herself--like a vision that's just beyond the corner of my eye.

I look at her sisters sometimes as if I could get a hint of which one she might have most resembled. They have the same hair color, a golden brown, so I picture her with that same shade. Zuzu has brown eyes, Coco has green eyes, and so far Vieve's eyes are still baby blue. What color would Eliza's have been? It's no exaggeration to say I will spend my life wondering.

I participated again in an ornament exchange with babyloss mama friends. I am eagerly anticipating my Eliza ornament, which is always a bit of a balm in December, but those who have already received theirs have posted photos on instagram and the ornament I sent already made its way to my friend Veronica in Canada. I looked at several options on Etsy, but I knew the moment I saw it that it was the right one for her and her Alexander. It is a stamped ceramic heart and reads, "We will always wonder who you would have become."

As my friend Julie said on IG, it perfectly captures what we all feel all.

We are managing at this point. We are not completely crippled by our grief these days. We are all functioning pretty darn well, actually. But we will never stop wondering who they would have been.

After a visit with Santa last weekend (Coco wants “tie shoes” and Zuzu wants a Frozen II LEGO set), we are officially in holiday mode here (although I forgot to put treats in the Advent calendar last night as I scrolled my phone into oblivion before bed). We've started crafting some Christmas gifts, and made plans for viewing lights and participating in a Christmas pageant. It will be a jolly holiday with three little girls and two sparkling trees under our roof. And we will miss Eliza.

As Elizabeth McCracken writes so perfectly, "It's a happy life, but someone is missing. It's a happy life, and someone is missing."

It's a happy life, but I miss my first sweet baby girl and the big girl she would have become this year.


  1. Thinking of you Brooke and who Eliza would be today. Missing her with you.


  2. I miss your girl 💗 I wish I could see her beautiful face amongst her sisters.

  3. If it helps, know that you've been on my mind for the last few weeks especially, and we will light a candle for Eliza here in Texas for her tomorrow. <3

  4. Thinking of you and sweet Eliza today, Brooke. And sending you love.
    I wish she were here with you, but I am very thankful that you were here for us, guiding us, and helping us work through our pain, throughout these years.

  5. Hugs. You always capture it so beautifully, Brooke. I've been feeling this all as well - the heaviness, the lethargy, the pull of the bleary-eyed phone binge. The holidays are rough (and I'm sure doubly hard with a December birthday). Sending lots of love to you guys and Eliza. <3