This week, the blues are back. (I knew the sunny feeling that dominated most of July wouldn't last forever.) I'm cycling back through deep grief.
Sunday will be the first birthday in thirty years I've celebrated without my daughter.
I will be 54. Jolene was 23 when she died. Another reminder that time has frozen for her. Not 29 years younger than I am (she would have turned 25 next March), not 30 years younger than I am (she would be 24 now)--but 31 years. An additional year that will stretch longer as time goes by.
Jolene and I both had birthdays on the same day of the week. A small thing that made us feel connected in some strange way, now broken.
This family holiday will be the hardest we've faced yet.