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For years my arms ached and my heart cried

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For years my arms ached and my heart cried

I had never attended the death of my child before. I didn’t always do it right. I didn’t always know what to do. So I did as I had done throughout your life. I sang to you, I stroked your hair, but I didn’t hold you. Moving you caused those wrenching, coughing spasms and it seemed selfish to put you through that just so I could hold you one more time, so I didn’t. Then for years my arms ached and my heart cried, “If only I had held her one more time.”

Then you came to me once in that lovely dream and I did get to hold you again and I felt such elation — until I awoke and knew I had been lying to myself of all those years. Holding you just one more time would never be enough.

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