We met my cousin and his girlfriend for breakfast a few weekends ago. They had come to Atlanta for a concert. My cousin has a little boy who really is the cutest thing, he’s a very happy and smart boy. I asked my cousin what his son wanted for Christmas and he told me the things he was obsessed with at the moment.
I was surprised how much it hurt hearing about the things he liked. It didn’t have anything to do with my cousin and his family. And I wouldn’t want him or anyone to stop talking to me about their children and their lives. But it hurts because I immediately began to wonder what Brielle would be interested in at that age. Two of my cousins as young children have loved dogs and dinosaurs and I found myself hurting because I wanted to know if Brielle would have been the same. I later asked David if he thought Brielle would have liked dogs, he grabbed my hand and said, “Probably, she loved her big sissies.” Brielle would wiggle around when she would hear me call Emmy and Rosie (our dog children). She’d love it when I’d play games with them and she loved feeling them rest their heads (or half their body) on my belly.
I have thoughts like this all the time. I’m sure it’s normal. Watching someone with a stroller and thinking, “I should have a stroller.” Folding Brielle’s newborn clothes and thinking, “I wonder if she’d still fit in these now.”
I came back upstairs from the basement the other night, I had been working on David’s media room and had been down there for hours. I found myself wondering what I would have done with Brielle during that time. It’s like I have a double life or a split identity. I really can’t explain it well. I find myself living the life I am in now, but always wondering what I would be doing in that moment if Brielle were still alive and healthy. Every moment of every day she is on my mind.
When I get in the car I check my mirrors and immediately think, “I should adjust my mirrors so I can see Brielle.” And then I immediately correct myself. She’s not here to check on. I go on. Everything goes on. But I never stop thinking of her. Wondering. Wishing. It hurts. It hurts in that “I’ve accepted this” way. I’m not losing my mind. I’ve accepted she’s gone and it hurts. It just hurts, all the time.