August 27, 2012

Letter #112

Dearest M,

It doesn't really go away, does it? The pain returns as freely as it dissipates, like when the joints in my hip flare up, like the pain in my back, always there waiting for me after a rough nights sleep or carrying your sister on my shoulders for way too many blocks.

It's gotten so busy around here, with your brother and all. I'm afraid I haven't stopped long enough to just sit with you. I find myself alone for the first time in months, I mean really alone, in strange cities and foreign languages, and you're all I can think about.

Slow down for a day and you rush in like a freight train.

Hey dad, you say. Remember? 

Yes, darling.

We have done so well, you and I, working toward integration, living together without as many tears, without so much heartbreak. I see you sitting there on the shelf and I know the pain has evolved. The space where you reside in my brain is no different than where the other two and your mother live, right out front, covering more mental and emotional ground than everything else combined, and even all of these thoughts about you have morphed into something vaguely uplifting. We are progressing. I can see this.

And then I get alone with you - without you - and everything seems to crumble for a time. No matter the progress, however important it may be, no matter the integration and the beauty, the acceptance, no matter how much I mentally talk myself down from the pain, no matter how much I tell myself to keep walking, you, you, you, my second daughter with blue eyes and big hands and Bray cheeks are never coming back.

I miss you something awful my dear. I would give anything to hold you again, just a little bit longer. Another hour or two, or another day. Sometimes I wish we hadn't donated your heart valves so we could have had more time. I wish I could have followed you around the city until you ended up back in my hands. Your sister is getting so big and so old and I desperately wish you guys were playing together. Movie nights aren't the same without you. Or going out for dinner or taking little trips, or anything else for that matter.

Whatever is left of you and however complicated this father and daughter relationship is, I love you Margot June.



Caroline said...

beautiful. heartbreaking. but mostly beautiful.

Nathalie said...

So beautiful, Josh Jackson. I wish you were physically holding Margot June everyday. Instead, you can only hold her in your hearts, memories, conversations, and the continuous letters you will write. Love you guys.

Amanda said...

"Sometimes I wish we hadn't donated your heart valves so we could have had more time. " I knew you had donated her heart valves,I didn't know the extra sacrifice that required. What a sacrifice...

Veronica said...

this is beautiful.
"no matter the integration and the beauty, the acceptance, no matter how much I mentally talk myself down from the pain, no matter how much I tell myself to keep walking, you, you, you, my second daughter with blue eyes and big hands and Bray cheeks are never coming back."
That last statement is somewhat of my every day at this time. Never coming back. So hard. And it never sounds any easier no matter how many times it's said, or reminded to myself.
Following along, sending my love

March is for daffodils said...

My girl's sister is getting "so big and so old" too, and like you, I desperately wish my girls could play together. I miss A as E's sister just as much as I miss her as my daughter. This is a beautiful letter. I'm sorry you have to write them.

brianna said...

It doesn't ever really go away. I don't think I'd really wish it away anyway as it is a portion of all that is left and there seems to be so little to hold on to. Some days it is still a shock, even now.

Missing you guys and missing Margot, wishing so much to have known her too.


Stefanie said...

Once again beautifully written. Thank you for your honesty. I feel the same way. You see and feel progression and then it sneaks up out of nowhere and bites you.

Hope's Mama said...

Oh Josh. There is something about dads and daughters that just get me. Every time.
Love to you as you miss your middle daughter. Every damn day.

Catherine W said...

Ahhhh. Oh it still does hurt doesn't it? As you say - it is when I am alone with her - without her - that everything just aches. And I have to tell myself to keep walking.

I'm sorry that your second daughter won't be coming back. Her blue eyes and her big hands - I remember you writing that you thought she might have been a sportswoman with those hands. I still can't quite bring myself to believe it. That they aren't coming back. Idiot that I am.

I'm so very sorry Josh. But I can't regret the love, the love that is all that remains.

Tash said...

Oh Josh, this is heartbreakingly beautiful. Missing Margot June with you always.

Mary Beth said...

So lovely. I wish she was here with you. It always, always blows my mind, still, that they are not.
xo much love

Laura Beck said...

i love this. You are such an amazing father, Josh.

surfjams said...

Oh she has such an amazing dad! Oh how many girls wish they could have had a dad like this, and how unfair that you didn't get to pour all this love into her for all the days of her life! The awakening of this part of you that manages to be dormant for moments, out of survival probably, is both beautiful and painful. Thank you again, for sharing such excruciating feelings in such a graceful way.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog in the midst of other blogs while searching for... Well I'm not sure what I'm searching for. Maybe people who have felt similar to me. I am drowning in grief. Our sweet baby boy was born three weeks ago to the day today at almost 34 weeks. We found out we had lost him two days before his birth. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing, thanks for your words and for some hope that someday I might not feels as though I'm drowning all the time. Lindsay.

Josh Jackson said...


In case you get this comment, I wanted to say how sorry we are for your loss. What a horrible, horrible tragedy it is to lose a child and I know those first few weeks and months are so brutal from rising to falling. Please feel free to reach out if you need a friend. Both my wife and I can be available for love and support. Feel free to email me @ AT gmail . com.

Again, I'm so sorry for the loss of your baby boy.


loribeth said...

Gorgeous as always, Josh. (Catching up, finally...!)

Anonymous said...


My heart goes out for you and your family. I never fully realized the pain of losing a child until I had to walk that valley myself this year. Sometimes reading your words helps me put my own thoughts together and gives me hope that one can heal. Thanks for sharing.

IWU '03

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