I would not have believed you if you had said to me twelve years ago, that I would be looking forward to another day, more opportunities to smile, cry and be in the presence of family, girlfriends, leading fitness classes, creating positive uplifting playlists or writing about the death of my child and living with uncertainty…..
I would not have believed you if you said to me twelve years ago, that I would reach out to people I don’t know and introduce myself as a possibility to lead a workshop, a new venture, a presentation about surviving and thriving after loss…..
I would not have believed you if you said to me, that I would hold my baby granddaughter in my heart long before she was born or hold her securely in my arms and whisper to her that no matter what life brings, it is worth every bit of everything and not to give up on hope…..
No, I would not have believed you.
You see, when you have been crushed under the weight of grief and sorrow, you can’t see much of anything. You can’t hear the pleas of those who care about you. The moment before everything changed, you can’t imagine how deep is deep; how dark is dark or how much begging you do with the universe to let you leave this world to be with this child. Sound harsh? Does this feel uncomfortable? Do you wish another word was used so you felt a little more at ease?
Well, welcome to the world of grief.
Early in my loss, my dark days, a well-meaning person asked me to not to use the word, “died”, but to use the words, “passed on”. We were talking about the events that led up to Sean’s accident and the reports from the Colorado State Trooper and Coroner. I remember thinking how interesting he casually threw that out for me to consider as though he was offering a snack instead of holding a broken heart. At the time, I was too stunned by the death of my son to respond to any comment, and when this was said to me, I must have been in the grief stupor – but the comment did not go unnoticed.
Today I am twelve years removed from the shock of that night. I have traveled far and deep, long and hard on this grief journey. I discovered, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, that the power to leave the place of uncertainty was always within me. Life catapulted me into a journey I would not have chosen for myself. Twelve years ago, I didn’t know where to look for my shattered heart. Today, I look back and I can see that my heart was put back together one jagged piece at a time. I was tended to by many who held me with empathy, compassion and courage.
If you would have said to me twelve years ago that I was going to look forward to another day with hope and purpose, I would not have believed you.
My journey continues, but now with hope, courage and purpose.