I spent the first year being really hurt, but I still believed that she would come around. The second year was when reality set in and I cried almost every day. The grief of losing my child while she was still alive was fraught with shame, self-recrimination and humiliation.
If only I had been a better mother. If only I had done something different. If only, if only, if only.
During the early years, when I met new people and they asked me about my children I would feel my face redden and my heart race and I would try to answer breezily. Yes, I have three children. No, I don’t get to see them very often.
Sometimes, in a raw moment, I would confess that I had one child I was estranged from, but mostly I would just let it pass. Usually, people would respond to that bit of news with “Oh, kids do that. She’ll come around.” (After eight years, I am beginning to believe that is not…