When I lost my daughter, I lost my ability to remember dates. I used to be so good at remembering dates, too. I used to have a knack for guessing what month of year a person was born on, just by observing their behavior.
When I have to recount dates, or my daughter’s hospitalizations, my mouth loses its motor ability. In my mind, I can replay the times she was at the hospital in Everett, Washington, Seattle, Washington, San Diego, California, and even her visits to the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. The images flash in my head. The books I was reading at the time, what holidays we spent there, and even how fat I was.
There were two 10s in her day of passing. I know that it was July in 2002 – McSherrystown, PA. When July comes – particularly July 10th, I rush to the accordion file that holds our important documents. I reach for Kiley’s death certificate and I am reminded.
Respiratory distress was her cause of death. She passed away at 10:10 p.m. at home. A beautiful hospice nurse declared her passing and cried.
But it was July 31st that she passed. I think that today will be the night I break down over it. (Don’t worry – I’ve already broken down).
As I’ve grown older, I’ve met more mothers who have lost children. They are beautiful, gentle and strong souls. I am glad to know them. I wonder what they forget, though. I wonder what basically ability great grief has stolen from them.
For me, it is dates.