18 months and counting

18 months since I felt her warm embrace, felt her soft skin against my cheeks, or listened to her sing and say “I love you too mom”. Yes 18 whole months and god knows how many more to come. It’s unimaginably scary, ….. To live a lifetime without her by my side. And yet here I am surviving this nightmare one day, one moment at a time.

18 months and so much has happened. Those of you that follow us on Facebook are already aware of our latest addition to the family. Our third child, Zoey and Anay’s baby brother, a.k.a Zoey’s little Hari made his arrival earlier this month. I call him Zoey’s little blessing because I feel the universe gave us back, a small part of my Zoey’s undying spirit. Moreover I truly believe that he is here only because of my Zozo. While it will never ever be the same as having my Zoey here with us, it definitely is a soothing balm for the broken heart. I am thankful for both Anay and now Zoey’s Hari for having that effect on me.

So yes all of sudden life has gotten busier with 2 little boys at home. And being busy is good since it keeps the mind occupied. However grief always has a way of creeping in. I am beginning to realize that this grief will never go away. We ( the bereaved ) live in 2 worlds. The world that once was…. With my beautiful daughter in it, and the other world that is today. I am also beginning to realize that the number of people who knew my Zoey will only decrease as the years go by. In fact when I meet strangers these days, I guess I appear as a happy mom of two young boys. They have no idea of my Zoey. Zoey is mentioned only if I insist on bringing her up in a conversation. Even then people don’t really know my Zoey. They just nod their head, shrug their shoulders and express their condolences … And the conversation moves on to a more pleasant and less awkward topic, than my dead daughter.
So yes that world with her in it, with Karthik and me as her parents seems like a beautiful dream, while the present is completely unrecognizable. A good friend once told me that the only way to survive, is to find a balance between the 2 worlds. So yes every day is a struggle to find that balance. It’s a struggle to find the strength to do what’s required daily without letting oneself wallow in the past. It’s a struggle to provide a happy and cheerful home for our boys. I see me struggle, I see her dad struggle and I see all her loved ones struggle and suffer every single day. I guess it’s something that we will get better at hiding over time. But nevertheless the gaping hole or the void that my Zoey left us with, will always be there.

So it is Memorial Day today. I remember Memorial day 2012 like it was yesterday. Zoey was so excited to make a trip to the beach that weekend. We had been contemplating that trip since I was still in my 1st trimester. However I am so grateful that we went. Because it was our last holiday together as a family of 3, as Zoey, Mama and Dada. We went to Cape May, NJ for the weekend. We spent all our waking hours at the beach. Here is a picture of my girl enjoying that weekend. Here is a picture of the family that once was.

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Unfortunately we never got to go again as that beautiful family of 3. That family of 3 only exists in pictures, videos and our memories. When I see those pictures or videos, it’s like watching an old nostalgic movie ….. With tears streaming down my face.
Right now the task at hand is the adjust to life as a family of 5.With two boys and memories of my beautiful girl. Again it’s something I will accomplish one day, one moment at time.
Love you and miss you loads my Zozo, as usual to the moon and back, to the moon and back.