Juliette would be fifteen tomorrow; that’s such a milestone for a girl. Her birthday’s been at the back of my mind but tonight, running Celeste’s bath, thoughts crept in about how it would feel if she were still alive – what she would be doing, whether she’d be excited, what we would have bought her, whether there would be a party – all the normal things. And it feels total rubbish that we’re arguing about what cake to make, and who will buy the flowers for her grave and balloons that we’ll release with our messages instead. Tonight it feels poor to have these rather than some full-on teenage celebration. I’m feeling sorry for myself, sorry for us and sorry for her that she had no time at all to live. I’m sorry for everything we’ve all missed.
I know this will pass, perspective will be restored and I’ll be back to ‘looking on the bright side’ soon. This is self-indulgent I know, and that’s the reason I’m here rather than on my other blog. I always feel like this at some point around these times, but this year is ten years. Ten bloody years, when she was only here for five. She’s been gone almost twice as long as we had her, and I hate that. Are these days ever not going to be hard?
Meanwhile in the spirit of I forget what, I’m visiting a different prison tomorrow to talk about more teaching. They suggested the date, and at the time I thought it would be a good thing to do on Juliette’s birthday; a positive distraction. I didn’t think I’d come unstuck. I just hope I can hold it together when I’m there.