It feels like Z is with us enjoying Ali's babyhood. She's here in her pomegranate tree in the front yard, in the roses I inhale as I walk up our street, in the few items of her baby clothes that Ali still sometimes wears, in her blanket I use for Ali when we travel, in the stars when I hang the washing in the summer night, in the extra tight cuddles I give Ali when I soothe him to sleep. The grief still hits me now and then, but it is like a sneeze - I sense it coming, it shakes me, and then it moves on. I look at Ali's face and wonder what she would have looked like at his age, or as a three-year-old.
We spent her day and a few days either side of it down the coast, near the bush chapel where her ashes are buried. We played her some music, we sang her a lullaby, my mum sat next to me and squeezed my hand. A part of me feels guilty that our grief has mellowed - in some strange way I miss the clean intensity of the early days. But this is now a grief that is woven in with our lives.