Remembering Doria

One Father's Journey after the Death of his Daughter

Early Lessons From This Side of the Rainbow


I just realized today that it’s been a week since I’ve written, and I have no idea where the time is going! I know that Zoe is almost a couple days past two weeks, and that’s still tough to believe. She’s sleeping at my elbow right now, so I know that she’s there and real, but it’s all so fast. When I bother, it’s been striking me how this year and last year have the same kind of thoughts or feelings, but in a very different way.

For example, while I still love everything that I do, it’s hard to want to be places that aren’t home. Last year, that was true because every day was mourning time, and it was tough to find the energy to go anywhere. This year, it’s not that sort of thing. I just have this fun little miracle sitting here. It’s tough to leave her behind, even though she sleeps all the time.  but an entirely different way.

Like last year, I’m often more tired than I’m used to being. It’s not what you would expect, since people assume that we’re up with Zoe all night. This girl sleeps through everything. That’s not the deal. It’s much more of an emotional thing. Last year, of course, it was just a matter of being crushed all the time. This year, it’s much lighter, like that billion pound weight is gone, and I’m free to move about and do things now. Everything is getting done this year, but I’m never exactly in a hurry. A UPS employee would be a little startled to see my “unconcerned” progress, even though I still quickly fire through everything. Right now, it’s just with a relaxed focus while resting up for the explosive intensity to come.

People stuff is so different this time. Last year, there was a weird balance of wishing people would do more even though I didn’t really want people around. Some dear people had the courage to step into that mess, but the norm is to avoid it. I get that. This year is different. It’s a victory story, and everyone wants to be part of a victory story. That eagerness is exciting, welcome, and totally exhausting for a surprisingly introverted person. I think the hardest part of this version is working through all of those expectations while making sure that the things which actually happen are the best ones for Zoe.

We need a cemetery visit. We haven’t made it there with Zoe yet, and we need to. We’re both talking about it. It’s coming very soon. It’ll be a strange visit, but we need to get back. Last year, we wouldn’t have thought at all about missing a week. We’re overdue, and on the way.

Poop really is the smell of victory. Poop means good things. Poop means that Zoe is healthy and digesting, and that’s such a good thing. She pooped on me for the first time Sunday night, so I know that I’m really in the club now. It was a nice shot and a nice surprise, and Zoe got it done. Her regularity means that I have to keep ordering diapers, and I like that. It’s another little sign of victory here. Living babies need something to hold the poop.

When someone cries now, it isn’t us. Last year, we knew why. This year, we sometimes know why. I kidded earlier today that we’ve had two weeks, so we should have it all down now, kind of the way we’re supposed to have grieving down by the end of the funeral and all. Zoe has surprises, and sometimes can apparently cry for no reason at all. Reasoning with her hasn’t worked yet, but I’m sure that will work pretty soon. How could it fail?

Zoe’s “movie monster” sounds are more fun than silence. This little girl makes a whole bunch of noises which sound like movie monsters. It’s cute. I remind Zoe that it’s not good to eat mommy and daddy, and that we can do a better job keeping her safe if she doesn’t eat us. She’s learning a lot of valuable lessons here! Her sounds are funny, and they’re so much better than last year’s silence.

Living babies take up a lot of space. Like we planned, Zoe has taken over the house, while Doria really just took over the basement once we couldn’t see most of that stuff anymore. These living children take up a lot of space. There should probably be a warning label or something.

If I were tying it all together, I’d say this: It’s different at this part of the journey. It’s the same stuff, but it’s all so different this time. And yes, I recommend it. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Early Lessons From This Side of the Rainbow

  1. I can’t help but feel a little jealous of where you are right now…and that’s just me being honest… but, with that said, I’m also SO happy for your family. I listen to your evolving story and hope that I will also have a future full of poopy diapers and new baby sounds to uncover. I think what Doria did for you is give you the gift of savoring and appreciating each and every moment with Zoe and all that she has to offer. I look forward to hearing what you’ll learn from Zoe, too. ☺

    • Thanks! You will be here!

      Parents like us always say that you appreciate everything like crazy with the rainbow baby. So far, they are so right!

      That Doria is such a gift. 🙂

      You’ll be here soon enough. Really!

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