My daughter weighed 6.5 oz when she was stillborn in August 2012 at 22 weeks gestation. She was tiny. She's now been cremated and the ashes are in a plastic bag inside her urn. If you held the bag in your hand, you could close your fist around it almost all the way. Even though she's just a couple tablespoons of ash and bone at this point, she takes up a lot of space.
It's the new year. You're doing OK: eating right, fitting in the exercise, being late to work less often, getting things in order. And then, suddenly, the grief appears, it grabs your ankles and pulls you under. 17 months later and it is still raw. You are still reduced to a sobbing puddle. You repeat, "my baby, my baby, my tiny love". It's the song you sing to her, it's all your brain can produce when the grief comes on strong like this, when you get pulled under. This does not happen every day, but it happens more often than you'd think. It renders you helpless, exhausted. You are adrift.
No matter that I have read enough articles and books to know that grief is not linear, the suddenness with which it can run me over like a freight train is still surprising. I get into this space where I think I'm me again. I feel like a normal person. And then whoosh! Nope. You're a person with a baby-sized bag full of ashes on a little altar. A precious, tiny bag. In there are what's left of your dreams and hopes for this daughter, perhaps for any daughter.
The new year has brought a lot of sadness with it. Lots of hope, lots of joy, but still the sadness, the missing, the wishing things were different. I will always wish things were different.