Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and all I can think about is how much I miss Elli and how hard this month is. I’ve always associated Valentine’s Day with her since her birthday is this month (along with mine) and she was a “heart baby.” And I guess that’s why I’ve been really struggling since I turned the page to February.

The problem is that the kids are still at full-throttle. They love this holiday, they are enjoying parties at school and making cards and eating candy, while I’m thinking about how Elli isn’t here to do that anymore. And Little Boy never quits finding new ways to leave his mark on things.

So I feel like I’m slogging slowly and tearfully through molasses-thick days, while the kids run circles around me. The memories are flying fast and furious. And all of a sudden the wound on my heart that had scabbed over a little and allowed me to get through my days pretty well has broken wide open, and the tears and loss and loneliness are just pouring out.

Everything I’ve read so far recommends just letting yourself feel it. Don’t try to bottle it up or hide from it or bury it. But it’s hard to go grocery shopping or pick up your child from school or even talk on the phone when your eyes are bloodshot, your face is puffy, and your nose is completely stuffed up.

So I’m trying to figure out how to keep functioning, especially outside my house, when I feel so unpresentable. I don’t think my sunglasses will quite cover everything.

Oh wait…Little Boy just brought me his older brother’s Incredible Hulk mask. That will do nicely.