It’s been quite a week, with family death, local personality death, celebrity death, violent death and more death. It feels as if my heart and mind are on perpetual death skip. Instead of seeing life and promise in everyday moments, I see heartache lapping at the edges, pressing against my every breath.

When I was about 8 I was playing on the trailer hitch of my neighbor’s van. I was holding the enormous triangle frame and swinging side to side when all of a sudden the whole metal contraption came whooshing down, pinning me beneath it. The pavement was hot and rough beneath me, the force of the fall had knocked the wind out of me and the weight of the thing held me down. I was absolutely frozen in horror, aware that panic and hysteria were going to come hard and fast. Even typing this I can feel the pressure on my chest.

These past few days have felt like that, except instead of one specific pressure on my chest it’s been more like a heavy cloak, my limbs are wooden, slow to move, my mind equally stiff. The weather has been too bleak to do anything, heavy winds and road flooding rain making a trip with the girls unrealistic. Sean and I were talking just this morning about how unusual it is for us both to get slammed with the blues at the same time.

“Usually when I’m down, you’re up or the other way around. It’s why we work so well together. I’m not used to it being too much to pull each other out,” he said as he kept his face down. I had nothing, because every word was true. It has been pretty numb around here.

And then something happened, despite being my weak with fatigue and bereft of any characteristically optimistic, we-can-push-through-it grit, a light managed to break through. A big, twinkly, sequiny Disney daughter kind of light. The girls sweeping the floor and tickling the air in their brand-new sleep gowns sashayed the blues out with a dazzling blur of turquoise and lilac satin, irresistible toddler mirth and hysterical vamping.

Now, that picture at the top of this post, the one that before had been more darkness than light, nearly squeals with joy. There will always be death, but these girls make me remember that it’s the living that really matters.