Eight Months

I’m not sure how this grief thing is supposed to work but I can say this much: at month eight, it hurts more, not less.

It’s incredible, really, that she is gone. I had a daughter, and then I didn’t. How is this possible?

I was there when she left and I sit in the silence now. It is obvious that she is gone, but my mind doesn’t understand it and my heart doesn’t accept it. Surely this didn’t happen– right?

The thing that bewilders me most is the love. Where, exactly, does the love go when you have loved someone with your whole heart – with desperation and joy and fury – and that person is gone? This kind of love cannot be ignored and it cannot be contained. Where does it go? What do I do with it now? This is the part I can’t get past; this is the part that hurts.

I have no answers, just love for a girl with the loveliest of hearts and the most buoyant spirit. The love never runs out. She taught me that.

I would do it all over again, with full knowledge of the pain ahead. I would do it again and again and again, because the only thing worse than the pain now is the thought of not ever knowing her at all. I am forever blessed because I got to be her mom.

So at last, here is something I understand: love is greater than the pain. It’s already won, but in this imperfect place, it coexists with the pain.

One day, it will be different. Until then, I love and I hurt, I love and I hurt some more. It can’t be any other way.


Two more things I know: she gave love, and she knew she was loved — both in massive amounts.











(photos 1, 5 and 6 – Aubrie LeGault; photo 2 – Charles Gullung)


21 thoughts on “Eight Months

  1. I am still reading you from Canada and each thing you write touch my heart deeply. Those pictures of your family together are so beautiful and maybe somewhere, through the hearts of everybody around you and those who are also following your blog, this is where her love keeps living and spreading around you.

    I sent you my best thoughts



  2. A mother’s love for a child is one of life’s greatest gift! You were very lucky to have her in your life, as well as your daughter was very lucky to have you as her mother! Love never runs out!


  3. “So at last, here is something I understand: love is greater than the pain. It’s already won, but in this imperfect place, it coexists with the pain.
    – – –
    Two more things I know: she gave love, and she knew she was loved — both in massive amounts.”

    Yes! I agree with that sentiment, and I think you put it across so very well 🙂 It’s uncanny that today should be Vday, and I’m not sure how that might possibly affect the day .. but both of you gave love to, and received love from, each other and in massive amounts both ways. That’s what made both of you special to & for each other. ❤ Meantime, I will quietly continue rooting for J's family in telling her story, and I'm reading for as long as you will continue to tell it – at your own pace of course!

    To eternity, when we meet her again in Heaven! (Which is also when I will ask her about building stables for parrots. I hope I don't forget it by then. Hehe. <3)


  4. She was loved (IS loved) and she loved…that is all we can hope for! I am haunted by that question about where does YOUR love go now that she is gone. Because that is essentially where the pain is and how it cannot possibly disappear…your mind and heart know it belongs to this beautiful child yet she cannot receive it. It really is the most unimaginable. Yet through it all, you have been the most amazing mother to and for Julianna. I hope knowing that you gave her the very best love, support and comfort possible despite such difficult circumstances can bring some healing/quiet joy to your heart. Much love on Valentine’s Day!


  5. Reading your post brings me to tears. I did not personally know your princess but I can tell she was a wonderful little girl with a mommy who loves her dearly! I pray for God to give you peace and ease your pain!


  6. It has been awhile since I’ve written. I’m still here wanting you to know that your words are powerful and comforting. I also hope in some way it gets you past today, and keep on moving on to the next day. I’ve not had anything to say that I know can comfort you. I do know, it’s Valentine’s Day. I wonder what message Julianna left for you, today? I’ve seen all the photos of the images you’ve seen since she left the physical world. I’m betting she gave you something beautiful to see. Smiles, hugs, and lots of love your way. Keep writing for as long as you want. We are reading.


  7. I feel your pain , I feel your broken heart, everytime I read your blogs it sheds many tears! I wish I can say anything to make you feel better, but I can’t. Like you said ” it’s a monstrous lost” how can one go on? But it is the LOVE!

    The pictures you post are so moving , it really captures Julianna’s spirit, joy, love and smile.

    Thank you for sharing Julianna to us. It really made me look at life much differently. I cherish her book and tshirt, for one day I cannot wait to read to my daughter and tell her the story of a brave little girl, with so much love and happiness – Julianna !💜💗💞💕💖💝💓


  8. As we grow older, each of us will come to know loss. Loss is certain. Some people like you experience loss that others can never fully understand. Whatever thoughts and feelings enter like waves of the ocean…let the thoughts and feelings come and go; all the time knowing that love is forever…love is what mattered to J…and love is a superpower.


  9. Your words touch me and I will continue to read your blogs. J knew she was loved, so very much. You gave all a Mother could give and I believe she stayed, on this Earth, longer than her little body could bear, because your Love kept her going.

    As a Hospice caregiver, I know it doesn’t get easier with time. This is a wound that does not heal, until we see them again in Heaven. When I lost my Husband, the pain was devastating. I do understand.

    Last thought – I was on a business trip last week and I saw a lady on the plane who had on one of J’s tee-shirts. It made me smile that I knew what it meant. I feel so blessed to have learned about her, thanks to you.


  10. Hi Michelle,
    Princess J’s life and legacy lives on in my mind and heart everyday. What a truly amazing girl and what
    a truly unique life. She is without a doubt the most inspiring person I have ever known. She will always
    remain the screen saver on my cell phone. She will always receive my prayers each day and she will
    never, ever be forgotten!
    Best wishes to you, Steve & Alex,


  11. I was thinking of Julianna and your family last night. Please know she is not forgotten, your loss is not forgotten, and you, Steve, and Alex are in my thoughts and prayers!


  12. Michelle, nothing I can say will ease your heartache. One thing you mentioned is that you hope Julianna is remembered.. she is.. every day by you, Steve and Alex.. but also every day by so many other people including me.. with each pink sunrise, sunset, unicorn, princess toys, horses.. so many things.. she is there. Her wit, her smile, her beautiful brown eyes.. she is remembered and loved ..truly and deeply. She touched us all. Continued prayers to you, Steve and Alex.


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