E’s birthday is coming up soon and friends are taking her on Sunday to a build-a-bear store to celebrate the occasion. She is very excited. Tonight at dinner she said to me: ‘Mommy, when I go to that bear place that M and S are taking me to, would you like it if I made the bear for you? It could be a bear for you for Baby Sister and you could keep it forever and snuggle it when you miss her.’

Sometimes I think about that psychologist who said kids her age don’t grieve and just shake my head in wonder.

* * *

Every night I notice more Christmas lights strung across the balconies of our neighbourhood. The other night, I suddenly remembered how, about a week after Anja died, we were out walking in the evening and I noticed that on many balconies Christmas lights continued to twinkle and shine through the late January gloom. I couldn’t believe that only a few weeks earlier it had really been Christmas and Anja had been with us; that it would have been impossible then to imagine her dead and gone. I had a moment of thinking with absolute clarity of how much I wanted to turn back time. It wasn’t only wishful thinking, but more like a real yearning for something magical to happen. In that moment, it was as if I thought there was some way we could really go back if only I could figure out what it was.

I was still in such deep shock.

I think about that feeling every night now and I wonder how I will feel in January when people start to unplug their lights and I know that a full year has passed, a full year, no magic, baby still dead and gone.

* * *

I cried in a coffee shop today. It’s been a while. I was having coffee with my mom and she said, ‘We were all so excited about Anja. At least she had that. This baby….’

And she trailed off. And I started to cry. Because I know. I know, but there is nothing I can do.