This afternoon I went out to put fresh flowers on Riley’s grave. Sometimes I feel like it’s been so much longer than two months since the baby passed. Sometimes it feels like only yesterday.

I apologize for my absence as of late. There was an intense family issue going on that had to be dealt with. Not here in our house, but it affected us nonetheless. Besides dealing with this issue, a lot of things have been asked of me lately that I’m not sure I’m up to the task of. I mean, how do you save someone from drowning when you don’t know how to swim? How can you give them breath when you’ve forgotten how to breathe?

I feel like some see the smile on my face and think, “Oh, look. She’s all better.” Well, I can tell you: this is not the case. Sometimes there’s a smile on my face because I know my children are watching and they have seen me cry enough. Sometimes there’s a smile on my face because I know you’re struggling too and I don’t want you to ever think I feel your struggle is less than mine. Sometimes there’s a smile on my face simply because I know it’s expected and I don’t like feeling as if I’ve let anyone down.

Let me take a moment to be frank. I am not okay. I don’t think I will ever be okay. But I will survive. I will make sure my living children have full and wonderful lives. But sometimes, I will need some space. Sometimes I will need more help than I have ever asked for. Sometimes I will need you to offer it to me, because despite how much I may need it, I am too embarrassed to ask for it myself. Sometimes, I will need you to ask for less. There are too many missing pieces of myself lately. I am sorry, but I have nothing left to give at the moment.

I have to take each day one at a time. Some days are easy. We laugh. We have fun. I feel like myself. Other days are rough. I am teary. I am depressed. I stumble upon pictures my girlfriend has taken for the first birthday of another child named Riley and weep because my Riley will never have a first birthday.

Just be here for me. Let me take a turn to lean on you. I have not abandoned you; please don’t abandon me. We can all find a way through.

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