Today is my mom's birthday. Or today was my mom's birthday. Or today would have been my mom's birthday. Four-and-a-half years later, and I still don't know what tense to use.
In some ways, it's easier: it's a quiet undercurrent instead of the focus point of everything. With the passage of time, I no longer feel so utterly without mooring. But every once in a while, the loss hits home in new, unexpected ways. Like when I think about how my mother never got to meet her two amazing grandbabies, to see what an amazing mother my sister has become, or to look into my daughter's eyes that are so much like hers. She'd have loved it all, every second of it.