I miss her most in the autumn.

My sweet Grace.

It’s not the day she was born still or her due date. It’s not when I discovered I was pregnant. It’s not any of those anniversary dates that can sneak up and drown my heart in sorrow.

I have never found a logical reason for why I miss her so in the autumn. It doesn’t really make any sense.

Yet when the air starts to cool and the leaves start hinting of red and orange and gold that space in my heart where she resides aches a little bit more than usual. The leaves and frost that crunch under my feet seem to whisper her name and I can almost see her playing in the falling leaves that dance through the air.

When I think of Grace, I think of autumn.

Bold and vibrant colors remind me of the brilliant light she was.
Little kids jumping into piles of leaves symbolize the joy and innocence that her life will forever be.
Sweaters and blankets give me that same warm and sweet sense of comfort that she did after her daddy died.
Quiet mornings in a world coated in glittering frost remind me of her gentle, peaceful energy.

Autumn is a brief season. Like Grace’s too short life, autumn flares brightly, drenched in color and vibrancy before quietly fading into the stark and bare winter season. Autumn is the radiant flash between the heavy heat of summer and the gray chill of winter.

Grace’s life was like autumn, a brilliance and beauty that too quickly faded into the harsh chill of grief and sorrow.

The absence of her is acute and aching in the autumn. Her would-be adolescent form is missing from the groups of kids on their way to and from school. The piles of leaves remain neat and tidy, unmarred by her playful leaps and jumps. The closet will never be filled with sweaters and socks, jeans and scarves to warm her growing body. Steaming cups of hot cocoa will never welcome her home out of the chill after school or play or activities.

Her life will always be beautiful and brilliant but all to brief. She will never grow to bloom into spring.

My life will continue to turn, passing through the seasons, ever evolving and turning through time. I always survive the gray chill of winter to once again feel the warmth of the blooming spring and heat of summer.

Then autumn will come again and I will remember, always, the brilliance of her life.

I miss her most in the autumn.

*Originally published on Still Standing Mag.

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