It’s been 3 years since we said good-bye to our oldest daughter. A lot of baby loss moms say it gets easier with time. But, for some reason, this year was harder than last and I don’t feel like my grief has gotten easier with time. I often hear, “you have Erin now, surely that must make things easier for you.” I usually just nod as if I agree knowing that those that say this just don’t get it. Any woman who has lost a child would know that their surviving children do not make their grief any easier. Erin may give me a distraction, but it doesn’t make anything easier. Rather, it makes it harder in some sense. Erin doesn’t replace Rachel in any way. Nor do I ever intend her to. Would I not have Erin if Rachel was still here? Possibly, but it is also totally possible for me to have both even if Rachel was born on her due date. Erin would have just been a big surprise. When I watch Erin interact with other kids, I see her more drawn to older children. She wants to do what the bigger kids are doing. Learn their tricks and interact with them. She truly is a little sister. It makes me sad when I see her do these things, knowing if Rachel were here, she would have taught them to her. But, I also oddly find comfort in it…it is a subtle reminder that Erin isn’t the oldest, nor the first born and it seems that even at such a young age, she knows this too.