I know. I write a lot about accepting grief and living with grief. One would think continuing to write about it would be unnecessary. But it’s a daily thing. A daily struggle. Each morning I wake up and am confronted anew with ugly truths: my daughter is dead, she is gone from me forever, there is nothing I can do to change this.

Was my life perfect before we lost Lauren? No. Not particularly. Did I have the big, beautiful kitchen that I needed to fully stretch my culinary wings? Were we close to the family and friends who were bound to be important parts of Lauren’s life, who loved her as we did? Did we have all the little, frivolous things we wanted? Did we have time and money to travel as we pleased?

No. But we had ourselves, and we had Lauren, and we had Japan to explore and enjoy. We were happy.

I long for those happy days. I mourn for the loss of them almost as much as I mourn for Lauren.

I miss the innocence, the confidence, the ignorance of those days. We can’t go back to that. Once you cross that threshold of grief, it changes you forever. You can’t have any of it back. You can’t unlearn the harsh lessons of grief. You struggle to find a “bright side.” It’s not like losing your first love or not getting that job you always dreamed of. You can’t just tell yourself, “If I try hard enough, I can do it. I can get what I want. I can succeed.” That doesn’t work after losing a baby. Because it wasn’t a matter of trying hard enough or believing in yourself. It was never in your power. You can’t control life and death. You can’t even try.

Obviously, that’s not true for everything in life, and what you can do, you should. But nowadays, it seems that we’re told we can do anything if we try hard enough. And often, because we are innocent and confident, we believe it. Shortcomings become unacceptable.

Here’s the truth: I will never understand higher math. I will never learn to enjoy jogging or weight-training or aerobics classes. I will never be able to give up certain foods. I will never be rich and famous. I will never be able to visit all the places around the world that I want to visit.

I’m not being purposefully negative. I’m just stating truths. I’m accepting facts. I think it’s better to face short-comings rather than to ignore them. That way, we can work around them. We can learn to live with what we can do and be happy with that.

When it comes to losing someone you love, you can’t undo that. You can’t bring them back, no matter how hard you try. All you can do is live with the loss.

And that, you can do. It takes time. It takes effort. It’s possibly the hardest thing you will ever do.

But you can.

I know, because I am.