I’ve stopped counting the days.  Counting from the moment that I watched her exhale her last breathe.  When I physically felt her heart stop under my right palm.  From the day that my existence as I’d known it for the last 10.5 years shifted.
Since that shift; confusion has set in.  Exhaustion and isolation are felt more than ever.  Grief is now a word I can use.  Some days, breathing is hard.  I find times when I whisper over and over: I love you, I love you, I love you.  As if she can hear it in my thoughts.  Or maybe, it’s my internal alarm clock to remember.  To think of her.
Since that shift; I’m functioning.  Love still radiates at the center of everything.  Maybe more so than ever.  The recognition of time is at the forefront.  I seek joy.  Feeling joy in the simplicity of a deep breath.  Satisfaction in a yoga class.  Giving myself permission more than I ever have in my life.  To say yes, to say no.  Freedom.  Embracing and mending my family.  Speaking truth, and learning.  The good stuff.
Since that shift; I’ve wondered.  Wondered what people are thinking of me.  Wondering if they see me.  If they know.  Wondering who will talk about her next.  Loving when they do.  Wondering how other hearts around me are doing.  But, not always having the energy to ask myself.  Wondering about this ache that creeps in unexpected and unannounced.  Wondering if this mind wandering will always be a road block.
Since that shift; the miss gets stronger and stronger, but that’s ok.  You see, loving her, calling her mine is something I will never ever regret.  That miss fuels me, even when it hurts like hell.  That miss is a feeling created by the shift.  The coupling of then and now.  The braid of love, grief, and LIVing.
4 months.  
Family update: Jake is pursuing his doctorate in education.  His goal is to become a Superintendent.  I’m inspired and motivated by him.  We continue to have a balance within our relationship that carries us through this shift.  New Year’s was harder than Christmas for both of us.  I think it’s been the first time through all of this that we were both in that low place at the same time.  
Finley is doing really really great.  For a time after Livia passed, she missed a lot of time in the classroom.  SIDE NOTE: our school distract has been an absolutely phenomenal support for Finley.  We can not thank her teachers, social workers, and friends for being such a safe and caring place for Finley.  Finley had a great Christmas break surrounded by many people who love her.  Getting back into the routine of activities has been good for all of us.  Finley is excelling and loving her dance classes.  She joined 3rd grade choir.  She brought home all A’s and B’s on her report card.  She is my energy.  I’m more in love with her today than I ever have been.  She is a daily gratitude of mine.  She sets a good example with her beliefs and prayers.  When she says Livia’s name, even with tears, it warms me.
Everyday is different for me.  I have the most understanding and caring friends.  People who are patient with me, and don’t push me.  I have friends that continue to hold my hand through this.  People who text, and ask.  One friend in particular has been writing me letters about once a month.  It was more frequent right after Liv passed, but they are still showing up.  I treasure her words, care, and love.  It’s a unique gift with no expectation back from me.  MNM, if you are reading this, thank you.  I love your heart.  I’m back to teaching at the Y 3 days a week.  As I mentioned earlier, I’m taking yoga as much as I can fit it in.  There’s something about the class, the instructor, and the mental clarity I receive when I’m in the class.  Paying attention to my body, and my heart has been top priority.  Meditation is the best time.  It’s a time that I sense Livia around me the most.  Probably because it’s forced quiet time that we all need!  I’m pursuing a business that I’m incredibly passionate about.  However, I’m my worst enemy when it comes to putting myself out there.  Remember that mental road block I mentioned.  Not only is that block present, a big ole’ “caution sign” keeps flashing in front of me.  No other reason beside my own self doubt, but that’s another topic for another time.
Thank you for your continued love and support of my family.  We are so blessed to be surrounded by a wonderful community of well intentioned people.  Even those that live far from here; your love is a comfort.
One more update….We are hopeful and driven by the prospects of continuing and shifting the Liv Life Foundation.  We have new ideas and hopes for the foundation.  Thank you for your continued interest and support with Liv Life.