It’s been hard to think about the future. I only know that I want one thing: I want to have another baby. Beyond that, I don’t know. I want to be with Geordie. I want a place of my own. It doesn’t matter where, not particularly. That’s what I want – it’s that simple.

I don’t have much in the way of direction. Geordie’s the one doing all the job-hunting; he’s the one who’ll get a decent job with decent money.  I don’t know what kind of job I want. Not teaching – nothing to do with kids right now. Probably something office-related, so there’s not a lot of thinking to do. I don’t feel I’m very reliable right now. Some days, I don’t feel like leaving the house. Some days, I don’t want to deal with people. Some days, I CAN’T deal with people. That’s just the way my life is right now. It doesn’t exactly make me employable.

I don’t worry about the future. I try not to think about it too much. Losing a child leaves you feeling so vulnerable and uncertain about everything. Now I know how quickly hopes and dreams can die, how quickly what I love can be taken from me. I don’t want to think about the future because I know what can happen now, I know that life doesn’t go right just because you want it to. Even if you work hard for what you want, life doesn’t give you any guarantees.

So, what’s the point of trying? Well, I’ve never been a nihilist, and I’m not going to start now. I know there’s lots to look forward to – the whole rest of my life with Geordie and a future rainbow baby is worth waking up for. But I know it’s not going to be easy. I’m going to be afraid of so much, and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it. I acknowledge the fear; it’s still there. I talk the fear out with Geordie; it’s still there. I dream the fear; it’s still there. No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, the fear is always there to meet me when I wake up in the morning.

I’m not even sure what I’m afraid of. Maybe it’s a mixture of a lot of things. Yes, that sounds right. The fear of losing Geordie, the fear of never having a living child, the fear of forgetting Lauren, the fear of being complete useless, the fear of never being an active member of society again, the fear of having no purpose to my life. None of them are entirely rational fears, but they are the fears that plague me. In this new reality of mine, I know that all of these things can happen. The worst can happen. The worst does happen.

The fear is not debilitating. I can live with it, just as I can live with all the other things I carry now because of Lauren’s death. But they’re always there in the back of my mind. And sometimes the thought comes to me: “I’m not the same. Nothing will ever be normal again. Nothing will ever be right again.”

And it’s true. Nothing will be right ever again. I’ll always be missing my daughter. She’ll always be gone. Nothing I can do about that. I’m living with that, and I’m surviving. I can live with the fear – with all the fears. They cannot defeat me, they cannot stop me. They may slow me down, they may steal away an hour or an afternoon or a day from me. But they cannot have my life. That is still mine, even if I may not know what to do with it right now. I’ll never be in full control, not knowing what I know now, but I’ll never give up control either.

I’m not giving up anything to the fear. It can’t have my life. It can’t have me.

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