The day Amelia died a weight was put onto my shoulders that I can never take off. It feels like a large, heavy backpack with straps that reach around my whole body, preventing me from taking a deep breath.
When I first got it on March 24, 2011, it was so much bigger than me. For a long time I could not get up, let alone walk with it. It took months before I could lift it off the ground, and almost a year before I could walk with it without falling. In that time it didn't get any smaller, instead I got bigger, stronger.
This awful backpack is not just overwhelmingly large, it is also excruciatingly painful. It is covered in spikes, large and small, for all the things I will ever miss with my daughter. They dig into my body at all times, taking turns in what hurts where. Sometimes it's in my heart, sometimes in my arms. It never stops hurting, but I'm learning to live with the pain, pretending that I'm ok with it.
As life goes on, other stuff gets added to the pack. For example, my sweet Mr. Wiggles came with his own backpack, light and soft, it is full of love and joy. Some days it helps me carry my other one. Other days it makes it harder, as I learn to carry the pain while feeling the joy. It's jarring how out of balance my two backpacks are, so painfully different, yet the same, because they are both mine and I love them no matter what...