Yesterday was a hard day for me. I cried off and on all day. I just missed her so much, felt so confronted by her death, her absence, the tragedy of what happened to my family. And I felt so lonely and alone. I think it is hardest being the mother. I think I love her the most, grieve her the most, need her the most.

Yesterday the downtown sports stadium lit its roof in purple and blue for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day after a bereaved parent contacted them and asked if it might be possible. When the stadium said yes, a candlelight vigil was organized and a number of parents and family members met in False Creek, in a spot where they could see the stadium roof, and lit candles for their babies. They stood together, remembering together, loving together.

I didn’t go. My inlaws are here and I have to teach today and it just wasn’t going to work out. I thought I would light a candle on my own, but I didn’t have a candle that felt special enough and I couldn’t bring it up with my inlaws; I couldn’t face it if they didn’t embrace the idea, if they hesitated or glanced side-eyed at each other, or tried to pull away. I can’t bear the rejection of my grief, which feels like a rejection of my daughter. Maybe they wouldn’t have rejected me or her, but I didn’t feel safe enough to find out. I felt very alone, very sorry for myself, sitting on the couch trying not to cry while everyone else joked and laughed and the kids stayed up too late because it was the inlaws’ second-to-last night with us and that was what everyone else was thinking about; but last night I didn’t care that soon they would be gone – I was only thinking of my girl, who’s gone forever, and wishing I could sit with her, honour her quietly, with friends at the vigil or by myself, but just be with her, devoted to her.

I didn’t light a candle last year either. Next year, I must.

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