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  • The Vail Project

The kind of attention no one wants

Tonight, I did the second of two local news interviews about The Vail Project, on live tv. EEK! This is something I never thought I would ever do. I've never been an attention seeker, nor one to enjoy the spotlight. So, reaching out to the local news station to share our story of loss was counterintuitive to say the least. I want nothing more than to retreat into my cave of loneliness and sorrow; block the entire world out. Doing that doesn't accomplish anything. It won't make me feel better. It won't help my family heal. And it won't help us get any answers about why we lost our sweet angel.

Not that going on the news and talking about my pain and SUDC awareness makes me feel better. It doesn't. Nothing makes me feel better. All I feel is my empty arms, the loss of the warmth of her smile, and the deafening sound of silence where her laugh once used to be. There is still room for the love I have for Steve and Aspen. There always will be. They are my everything. All that love now shares a living space with all the pain. Forever roommates in my broken heart, they go everywhere together. One doesn't exist without the other. Not anymore.

I did it anyway. Went on the news that is. Kim Christiansen from 9News was wonderful, warm and welcoming. She actually cared about my feelings and our baby Vail. That meant a lot. She made me feel as comfortable as possible and I tried to make Steve and Aspen proud of me. Hopefully baby Vail was there today, watching her mommy and feeling how much she is loved. Talking about the loss of Vail, opening up that portion of myself is brutal. Its tormenting. Have you heard of the saying "speak it into existence?" Well this is like calling the boogey man. It's not something I want to say out loud. As if not saying makes it less real. When I talk about Vail and how she died, it feels like it is happening all over again. The loss I mean. Living in the pure truth, where it is spoken out loud, makes it really real. Which is ironic and stupid, because of course it's real. You can't dream up or imagine this kind of pain.

As of tomorrow, January 17th, we will have lived 4 whole months without our precious baby Vail. Lived without her goofy grin and her silly laugh. No fun sisterly bubble baths, no bedtime stories or songs. I will have lived 4 months without kissing her sweet juicy lips or combing her soft hair. Four long months without all the miraculous magic that was inside of her. It seems impossible. Yet, here I sit, a fragment of my former self. I sit next to my husband who is struggling to find any purpose in this new life. All the while, Aspen swims in her bubble bath, alone. We all lost the same silly little girl. We all are grieving differently.

The only thing I know to do is to try to find out why. If I can be a part of the answers and therefore a part of the solution, then maybe life will have meaning again. So that's why I ripped open the gaping wound of my destroyed heart and showed it to the world. It is for hope. I can't see it or feel it now, but maybe if I keep trying, I'll find it again someday.

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