Losing a daughter is like losing a piece of yourself, a part of your heart or your soul. This is true even when she was your step-daughter.
During the past weeks our family has been rocked by the sudden death of our daughter, Milo Jackson, at the age of 43. She had not been ill but suffered a fatal pulmonary embollism in her sleep on May 6, 2010. She was there in the evening and gone by morning. Twenty days later it seems like a bad dream. I still hope to wake up and find it was a mistake. It didn't really happen. But it did.
I met Milo when she was two years old, a smiling happy toddler. She spent every other weekend with us and holidays too. She was an active part of our family activities, rituals and celebrations. In this favourite photograph of her at about age four or five, she's holding her rabbit which we kept at the farm, and sitting at the piano. She loved playing the piano with Nonie, my husband's mother, whenever we were together.
While I was in Edmonton for the funeral I wrote a poem for Milo which I read during the service. I will be publishing it here as I write about this experience over the next few weeks. Thanks for being there and listening.