I still cry. Not always. Not even every month anymore. There have actually been one or two years when I made it through without tears.
But I still cry.
I still miss her. Today I missed her on the playground when my daughter laughed and said we had to bring her best friend home because, "no, mommy, we have five kids!"
We do. And my heart caught in a sob. Then my daughter with the simpleness of children turned to her best friend (without any comment from me) and said, "actually, we do, but my sister is up in heaven. So can my friend come over to play?"
I think one of the biggest comforts in my life are my children. They seem to be the only people not afraid to speak of my daughter I lost.
Adults don't. My husband doesn't. My family doesn't.
I think people are afraid they will remind me of her and make me sad.
As if I could ever forget.
I see her laughing face flitting between my kids while they run giggling up the hill to meet me after school.
I miss her. I still do. There are days I still look for her, wanting to count to five, not four.
And I delight in the simplicity that her brothers and sister talk about her. They are not afraid of her death. She is alive, and they know that. So we talk about her.
Not always. But when she comes to mind. We smile. We talk about her. We mention, "actually, I have a sister, but she is in heaven."
Ah, the comfort in those simple words... she exists. Someone else remembers her. And we miss her.
We will see her again. Run to hold her. Collapse into a giggling heap of siblings who all talk at once wanting to share all that they missed just like they do after being separated for week at camp or somewhere. We'll all lie down together like kittens draped over each other and be silent at last. We'll be together.
There are days I don't cry. I think I shouldn't. Not still. Not twelve years later. My heart fills up with unshed tears that I try to keep in. Waiting until I am alone.
Then, finally the tears fall.
Daughter of mine, I miss you.