2 Years

Let’s pretend that the second year is not nearly as hard as the first and because we made it through all the firsts, this upcoming 2 year anniversary is easier. That I have it all together and I manage this grief and all these hard emotions perfectly….

Just kidding… lets not. That’s not what I do. You get real and raw from me and right now it’s not unicorns and rainbows.

It’s amazing to me. It’s amazing how my body remembers before my brain sometimes. It’s amazing to me that it took me two full days to understand why I couldn’t function, why I didn’t want to get out of bed. It was still August, still days away from his anniversary, and I didn’t make the connection. It’s so weird to be thinking now, how 2 years ago today, Teagan was alive and living and in two days, two years ago, he suddenly wasn’t. It’s crazy how random things bring up different memories… Kids and dad planning hunts, a random mention of a horse named Bud, a visit from one of Teagan’s best friends, someone mentioning an egg sandwich, the feel of the fall air, kids football games, the beginning of a new school year, moving a kid to college, talking about Covid, looking for a new bed, songs. Oh, the songs.

Over the past two weeks I have cried (a lot), screamed, laughed, felt grateful, received understanding, felt deep, painful emotions, avoided all of my emotions, encouraged myself to pull it together, given myself permission to fall apart, cried, and cried some more.

If this sounds like it doesn’t make any sense, it’s because it doesn’t. And really, it all makes perfect sense.

None of this makes any sense and it’s reality all at the same time. I want to crawl into bed and not think about anything at all and cry for the rest of forever. I want to feel the mad and the sad and the devestation and the “Damnit!! Why is this real?!”
I want to get up and show up and keep doing life and making memories and loving my kids so they know that no matter what happens in life, they can do it. Even when they are completely positive they cannot, that it’s completely impossible. I want my kids to see that they can do ANYTHING.

My heart hurts. That wide open gaping hole in my chest that was all to familiar for many months after Teagan died has healed some, it’s not always wide open anymore, but sometimes it is and right now is one of those times.

As I’ve experienced the last two weeks one thing really stayed with me. In one moment of quiet contemplation, my thoughts were this…
“Amber, you can’t change the fact that Teagan is gone. I’m so sorry. I know it feels awful. And this is a reality that you have to live with, so how do you want to do that? How do you want that to look? How do you want to show up in the world?”

I cried. I was mad. I cussed myself, Teagan and God. I thought about all the things that could have, should have been different. All the things I wish I would have known then, all the things I wished I would have done differently, better and “right”. I cried and I cried some more.

Then I heard myself ask the questions again, “You can’t change the past. This is your reality. What do you want this to look like? How do you want to show up?”

And then I answered my own questions.
“This is my reality and I don’t like it. I don’t have to. And I’m still here, breathing, living and experiencing life. So, I want to live. For my family, in memory of Teagan, for me, for my kids, for my grandbaby. I want to create memories, joy, and a fulfilling life. I want to create awareness, prevention, help. I can die in misery in this pain and waste away and do nothing, or I can live. I want to live, to teach, to lift, to help. To spend moments and create memories with my family. I want to take the qualities that Teagan had and taught me and the lessons I learned from him and incorporate them into my life. I want to do for my kids and others what I couldn’t/didn’t do for him.
AND, I know I can do this even as I feel that longing for him. As I miss him and ache for him. I can and will do both.”

This is messy, just as it always has been and probably always will be.

One thing that Teagan was, was determined. That boy did what he put his mind to if it was his idea. If he wanted it, he did it. I want to live that that.

Teagan was a fierce protector. A protector of those who couldn’t protect themselves. He didn’t like injustice or people getting hurt. I want to be a protector.

Teagan was real and honest. Sometimes more honest than this mom could handle, but I loved that he was unapologetically himself, no matter what anyone else thought or said about him. I want to be real and honest and vulnerable and transparent like Teagan.

Teagan loved hard and he loved deep. I want to love like Teagan.

It’s already been two years.
It’s only been two years.
It feels unreal.
If feels terribly real.

Teagan Gene, I love you. I miss you fiercely. Still, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for all that I didn’t do and did do and all the things I wish I would have done. I wish you were still here in the physical. Please continue to let me know you’re near. Please continue to help me, teach me, and watch over all of us. I love you forever and always, no matter what.

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

If you’re grieving the loss of a child, loved one or friend, I see. you. I’m holding you in light and love.

If you’re contemplating your worth, value or if you should be here on this earth, I’m telling you, you are amazing and have worth and value beyond what you can imagine and you belong here. If you don’t believe it, believe me until you do. I’m sending you love and light. Please stay. 🤍

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