I fell asleep failing quickly - I assume, anyway, I don't remember much after getting back into bed. I did my best to keep my mind clear, occupying it with my happy place, and ended up asleep again.
I woke up at about eight, Kellie getting ready for work, but my brain was calm, relaxed. Don't get me wrong, I was still sad, but aside from a few times of my brain pulling me back to that room nine years ago, my mind wasn't focused on that last week with Bethy. It was everything else she did.
Now, I am not saying I am "cured" or "over it" or anything else, but I think I am coping better than I have done over the previous years.
I also can't believe it's been nine years. As I write this, I can picture Bethy laughing and smiling, I can picture her playing, I can picture her sitting with me watching kids TV, see her dancing, enjoying what she had.
I miss her every day. Every single day. I am sure there are people out there that can't understand nor imagine what it is like to deal with this sort of thing, but deal and cope I have to.
Don't get me wrong, I could quite easily collapse in a big pile of sobbing Dan if I chose to, but I can't. I have all the kids here depending on me, I have Kellie, I have my friends and my family. And it's a joint effort - without them, I wouldn't have any reason to stand up straight and carry on. I need to be strong for them, and because of them, I can be strong.
I am a firm believer in coping with friends and loved ones. I tried Bereavement Counselling, and it made things seem worse. Every session seemed harder and harder. Same with my previous bout of CBT - talking things through doesn't cure everything... Well, with strangers at any rate. I can talk to those around me if I need to, even though opening up to people is really really difficult for me.
But I digress.
I have found several days this month quite difficult, especially via Facebook... People post all sorts of things regarding Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) throughout February, as it is designated CHD Awareness Day/Week/Month depending on who you talk to. I often find it hard reading people talking about how well their child is doing. I find it really really hard reading about people that have lost their child, and all I can do is offer my condolences and support, but I always think my words sound hollow for some reason. The hardest thing, however, is seeing all the photos people post of children in ICU with the pipes and tubes and wires, coupled with the surgical marks and wounds and scars...
THAT brings it rushing back to me in quite a hard manner, but I can't scream at the people that their picture brings everything back. People remember things in different ways, but the pictures of children an hour or two post surgery just makes me feel awful, and I have to ALT+F4 my browser, just to get out of there, and then spend ages trying to get the image out of my mind, which of course, my brain switches so it stars Bethany...
Today, I have made sure Kellie is at work. I have three kids here with me, and I am determined to get through today as normally as possible. Aside from a hiccup this morning, I've been quite good and settled today, remembering the good for the most part. I'm sad and down, but am pushing through it as best I can. So I made sure Kellie went to work. Usually she has today off to keep me company and occupied... So far, I think I'm OK.
To my beautiful Angel, Bethany...
I can't believe that today marks nine years since you had to leave me. I was so sure that you had the fight in you to beat everything that was thrown your way, but in the end, it was too much for you. I still sometimes wonder if things would have been different if I had asked your doctor-man to look at other options, but blaming myself does not achieve anything - even though I can't help but wonder about it some days.
I miss you every single day my little gorgeous. I miss hearing you laugh, shouting out for me when you didn't want to get out your chair, giggling when I rubbed my beard on your cheek and neck, laughing when I announced the chocolate was only for people with a spleen.
I wonder how you would have grown, what interests and hobbies you would have taken to, what you would have been like at school, what career you would have gone into. I know it's not a good thing to do, but I often wonder "what if" in the dead of night, what if you hadn't left, what if you hadn't been born with the insides the way they were...
I wish so hard for more time with you. A few more minutes just to talk to you. A few more minutes of holding you in my arms. A few more minutes of tickling you, playing with you, of letting you know how loved you are, how wonderful you are, and how much you would be missed. Just one more minute of one of your big cuddles with your arms tight around my neck, feeling your breath on my cheek, your cold fingers on the back of my neck.
I miss you so much Bethy. I love you with all of my heart still, and even now, I still think I see you out of the corner of my eye, or nipping through a crowd... I expect to see you on the stairs sometimes, or sitting on the sofa, or walking around dragging Baby Rabbit behind you.
Where ever you are, my perfect little Angel, I hope you are happy. I hope you know you are missed daily, but more than anything I hope you know how much you are loved. Whoever you are with, whatever you are doing, I just want you to know you are loved dearly.
I'm sorry you couldn't stay longer my Princess. I would have loved to see you grow up into a beautiful girl, teen, and woman. No matter where you are or what you are doing, dance, shake, wiggle and run around.
Sweet dreams, my little gorgeous.
I see you baby, every single day.