I remember your sister’s fourth birthday. I wrote about it here. In 2012, just a few weeks before the first anniversary or your own death and birth. I couldn’t manage much that year. Nearly 20 weeks pregnant with M. Just finished my PhD. Still grieving so hard. But I couldn’t let it go, either. Your big sister was turning four and she deserved a party. We had a fancy tea party, family only and one other loss family we’d gotten to know. Everyone dressed up. I made little sandwiches in cookie cutter shapes, and cookies, and a cake to her specifications. She wore a pink dress I bought with money Gigi sent for the occasion. I remember it all so well. And now it is nearly your fourth birthday, the end of our fourth year of missing you. I won’t ever say that one experience is harder than another, but one thing I will say: being able to remember everything about one daughter’s fourth birthday makes everything I’m missing this fourth birthday show up in sharp relief: no pink dress, no blonde curls, no birthday tiara, or dancing in tutus with friends, no fancy sandwiches and requests for ‘pink angel cake with raspberry icing.’ I remember that party so well.

David Bowie died yesterday, and the media is full of stories of his death. His video, Lazarus: was it a message? Of course it was. Of course. I wish you could have left me a message too, but you had neither 69 years, nor four years. You had no years, no time to leave a message.

You know I’ll be free. Just like that bluebird. Ain’t that just like me. (Bowie) – I hope you’re free. (me, your mom)