I have been on an emotional roller coaster these past few days. One moment, I feel hopeful. The next, crushed. One moment, I think, I can get through this, I can see joy and life after Sidney’s death. The next, I am lying in bed, wishing that I did not have to get out and face anything. This unpredictability makes it hard to plan, hard to know how I am doing, and what I can say yes to or expect of myself. Then again, I suppose the unpredictability of life is something that has always been there, and that I just denied until Sidney died, trying to pretend that I had some semblance of control over things, that I could make plans or daydream about the future. Sometimes I think to myself that my certainty that by 36 weeks, it was a matter of when Sidney came, not if, made his loss all that much harder. If only I had mentally prepared myself that he could be taken away, then it would have been easier. If only I had not loved him already so much, imagined him in to every aspect of my life. But I don’t really think that’s true. I think that figuring out a way to still have hope despite the shittiness of our situation, the shittiness of the reality that many of the most important things in life (and death) cannot be controlled or predicted, is important. If I had not loved him and been hopeful for him, and then he died, I am imagine I would have regret–and maybe one day, all my hope and love for him when he was inside of me won’t be so painful to reflect on, I won’t think, ‘I was so stupid, so naive.’ So if anyone has some suggestions for how to figure out how to be hopeful after loss, then I am all ears. But even though it’s making it so much more painful now, I am so happy that I loved Sidney from the moment I found out he was growing inside of me, the moment I first saw him swimming around during an ultrasound, finding out he was a boy, telling Eli he was going to be a big brother, setting up our room to make space for him, calling my mom to tell her to drive down, that we were in labor and off to the hospital, even those moments of pure shock when I held my precious boy in my arms, and the moments after, when I kiss his picture good night every night, or visit him in the cemetery. I have loved you, Sidney, every moment of your existence, and every moment since you left me. I hope to figure out how to live a life that would have made you proud to have me as your mama.