For my first Mother's Day, Nathan and Topher bought me a shadow box with one purpose: Gather some of my favourite pictures of Ariel and display it in a place of prominence in her honour.
Every few months Nathan would take the shadow box - still in its packaging - out of its home in the corner of our bedroom and ask, "Are you going to do anything with this?" I would shrug, avoid his eyes, and mumble something along the lines of "I'm just not ready yet. For me, the shadow box was too final. It meant Ariel was gone - and I wasn't ready to accept that. I liked pretending she was still in New Brunswick, galloping around the fields with her friends at Whispering Pines and then lying down in the pile of hay when she was tired of running so nobody else could eat it.
But a couple of weeks ago I brought the shadowbox out to the table, along with a couple of photo albums. There were a lot of memories shared with Nathan and Topher, and there were a lot of tears - but it's finished.
It's been four years this September, and I still miss her.