"You've been through so much. It must have been so difficult."
Yes, it was. And, yes, it is. It still is. It still is heartbreaking that Miles died. And both loving him and spending our days without him here are still (and will continue to be, I can be quite sure) daily parts of who I am and what I do. Miles' short life with us, his big impact on us, and our daily life of being always plus one is part of who we are. A significant part. A part at the heart of who we are now.
"All healed up now?" No, no, I'm not healing, I'm just dealing.
In truth, I can't stand the word "heal;" losing Miles is not something that heals. No amount of time or laughter or the endless new joy Elliott brings us changes the fact that Miles didn't get his chance at a long, full life and we didn't get that time with him either. Our child, our sweet fighting Miles is gone; it echoes in my heart. No, I'm not healing. I'm reluctant to use the word "deal" as well because it sounds rather flippant, but it's much closer to what I feel; I am coping, dealing, living with a broken heart. ("A Broken Heart Still Beats" is such a true, telling title of a loss book, in my humble opinion). Miles' death is something that happened in the past, but losing him, living without him here, loving him as the member of our family that he is--that's something we continue to do each day. His loss is something that we live with and isn't in the past and isn't something that heals.