Missing her isn't like missing my sister, who is living overseas for three years. Because my sister will come back; Ariella won't. Forever is a really long time.
The hurt I feel at her absence isn't like the hurt from a friend who doesn't speak to me. Because friendships come and go; a daughter should not be gone. Forever is a really long time.
Every time that I look at the dirty washing that needs doing, I know there should be a stack of little baby clothes also waiting to be washed. I pre-washed all her clothes while I was pregnant, but I'll never wash clothes for her again. Her clothes will forever sit unwashed. Forever is a really long time.
I see parents playing with their little girls on the playground near my house, pushing them in the swings and catching them at the bottom of the slide. I'm reminded that I've forever lost the chance to play with our little girl. Forever is a really long time.
On every Mothers Day. On every Fathers Day. On every birthday, anniversary and Christmas. In every family photo, there will forever be one person missing. One sweet little girl, with blue eyes and wavy brown hair.
Forever is a really long time.
(*Disclaimer - as a Christian, I do believe that I will see Ariella again in Heaven. Trust me, if it wasn't for that belief I wouldn't cope anywhere near as well. But please understand that sometimes it's hard to see past this life without her. This life can seem like forever. And forever is a really long time.)