Grief and Time

It’s been over a year now. We’re past all the “firsts” that are difficult to navigate and past all the wonderings of what that would feel like or be like.

They say time heals. I don’t think time itself is the healer. For me, time has presented a space for me to feel, to experience more emotions and deep feelings than I even knew existed. Time has given me the opportunity to remember, to reflect and to review. Time has given me an opportunity to choose. To choose who I want to be and how I want to show up now and in the future for myself and my family, through the tragedy of losing a child.

My early research of grief told me that losing a child changes you. That has definitely proven true for me. Of course, I’m still me, but I’ve morphed into something different than I was. I am different as a woman, as a wife, as a mom, as a friend. I am different in what I find important and worthwhile, what I cherish, what I let go of, what I hope for and what I do with my time. I am most definitely a different version of myself. And if I’m being totally honest, I’m pretty proud of what I’m morphing into.

The idea that while we most often don’t have control over what happens to us in our lives but total control to how we react and handle the circumstances handed to us, has never been more evident to me than it has been in the past year.

Losing my boy sucks.

It’s stupid.

I hate it.

I wish it was different.

And I can’t change it.

As I’ve learned tools to not only cope, but to thrive through it and find purpose in all of this pain, the feeling of gratitude is often present.

The truth is, I’ve chosen it. I’ve chosen gratitude. I’ve chosen to find purpose in my pain. I’ve chosen to dive deep into my thoughts, my beliefs, my habits, my experiences and who I want to be through this. I didn’t want this and yet, it’s what I got.

So as I think about the concept of “healing with time” I still think it comes back to what we want, what we choose, how and where we choose to look for help and support. Ultimately it’s choice. And with each conscious choice in the right direction comes the messy, anything but liniar, path of healing and adjusting and creating the new you, the new world, the new future that is life after the loss of a child.

This personal, messy, sacred journey of growth and learning is like nothing I’ve ever experienced in any other aspect of my life.

Time has not healed me. I’m not better. I’m not over it. I’m not healed and fine now. I’m just different. I’m just new. I’m just transformed. And in most aspects, I feel like it’s in a positive way. And I have to make choice after choice every single day to keep moving in a forward direction along this journey.

Yesterday I visited Teagan here, like I often do. I thought about time. About healing. About the pain that isn’t intense in the constant way that it used to be, but that is no less intense in the waves as it ebbs and flows.

I talked to him. I talked to God. I apologized, like I always do. I thanked them, like I always do. I cried, like I often do. I looked at the sky and wished so badly that it was different, like I always do. I asked him for a little sign. A sign to know he was near, that he still loved me, and that all is well in his world. Whatever that looks like for him now.

As I walked to my car, I heard him say, “You got this mom.” I don’t whether I totally made it up, or if that sort of thing is as real as it feels, but I take it, I own it and I soak it all up.

Thanks, bud. Thank you.

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