Up. Down. Up. Down.

That’s how I feel these days. Energy-wise. Attitude-wise. Outlook-wise. One day, I’m up. One day, I’m down.

Down. Up. Down. Up.

But, really, it doesn’t have to be the days that are up and down. The hours can be like that. Up in the morning, down in the evening. Or the other way around. Unpredictable. I never know how I’m going to feel during the day. I never know what’s going to set me off.

What’s happening? I’m facing reality. I’m understanding that this is how life is going to be forever: wishing she was here and not having her. I’ve never felt such an emptiness before. I’ve never had to adjust to the hole that’s been torn into my life. I can’t just walk around it, avoid it, pretend it’s not there. Every other day, I fall into it and get lost in it and have trouble finding my way back out.

Maybe it’s because of the holidays. All of these things we should be doing with Lauren, traditions we should be sharing with her for the first time. Making new traditions with her. And every morning, I gaze into that gaping hole and know that’s what I have. Not her. Just the hole in my heart where she came and went.

For a long time, I was waiting. I don’t know what for. Not Lauren; she’s not coming back. Peace, perhaps. Or adjustment. But maybe that’s not possible. I will always live with a lack of something. That’s what I’ve come to realize, and it tears me apart. This is my life, as incomplete as it is. As it always will be.

And some days, I can deal with that. Some days, I can manage. Lauren is always there, in the back of my mind, but I can accept that and live with it. My daughter is dead. But I’m not. My husband is not. We need to keep on going and living, and we want to. But other days, I wonder how living is possible. I wonder how I can keep going when I have this hole inside me. I guess that’s just part of grieving, learning to accept that this is how things are always going to be.

I’m not the type of person to deny what I’m feeling. I don’t hide it. I do isolate myself from others, because socializing tends to make it worse. I accept solace only from certain people, those who I know best and who know me best. Most of the time, I just want to be left alone, to deal with the grief myself. When the down times come, I have to give myself time to be miserable, because it’s the only thing that helps. It’s not that I wallow in it or let it consume me entirely, but I do embrace it and accept it and call it my own. It belongs to me, this grief, and I can’t pretend otherwise. I can’t make it go away, so I have to accept it and, by doing so, am able to face the prospect of living again. And I’m okay for a while, until it comes around again and the whole thing starts all over. Up can only last so long.

So that is my life now. Down. Up. Down. Up. It will be this way for the rest of my life. I hope, with time, that the up periods last longer, that the down periods remain brief. Rather than counting the “good hours,” I can count the “good days,” strings of them together without a bad day in sight. This will come around with time and without forgetting Lauren, but not yet. It’s been almost nine weeks; too soon to rest easy with life as it is. I have much grieving yet to do, a long road to travel.

I’ve made it through so many ups and downs so far, I know I can make it through whatever comes. I shall not look for an end, because there cannot be one. Instead, I shall look at where I am and either enjoy the up or endure the down. That’s what I can do.

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