You were never my undoing. On the contrary, you were my awakening. I see the world more clearly now. Because of you, I learned to cry, unapologetically and openly. I let myself feel the pain of your absence through these years. I did not shy away from the fact that my child had died. Instead, I shared it, and in doing so, I was able to find comfort and healing. I’ve managed to reach out to many people around the globe, who like me have loved and lost, if only to lend an ear and to assure them they are not alone.
I let myself express my heart, in words and in deeds. Losing you changed me, but I couldn’t turn away from it. Instead, I welcomed the new me and my new normal. That was yet another awakening. I was surrounded by things you wanted me to see, but for a long time, I was blind to it. But slowly, it started to unravel. I let go of things, and even people that did me no good, and I realized the importance of surrounding myself with beauty and happiness. This has been my pathway to healing and connecting with you and myself.
I now know firsthand that life is fragile. It can be snatched away from us in an instant. The ebb and flow of the soul can become but a distant memory. And because of this, I was encouraged to do what I love in the time I have. I realized the true legacy I leave behind has nothing to do with money, but everything to do with who I am and who I have touched, whether it is through my writing or my outreach. I realized that I had to live my truth every single day if I was ever going to be the kind of mother both you and your brother deserve.
The only certainty one has is death. A long and healthy life is a privilege that not many are fortunate to have. I realized, too late, that there are people who will stand by you in loss, that I should cherish them, hold onto them, and let them know I see them. Then there are people who will walk away, the sadness too hard for them to deal with. So I let them go, I forgive them. It is not everyone that can stand close to grief and survive.
I learned that love has no season. Friendships do, even relationships do, but not love. I learned to hold on, to cherish memories, to sieve through the sadness and find hope. Joy was something I didn’t think I’d experience again six years ago, but it was there waiting for me to find it again. There are still days I discard it like an enemy, when I am reminded, of what the cost of unbridled joy was.
It’s been almost six years, little one, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss you or want you here. You’re in the blood running through my veins and in every beat of my heart.
How has the loss of your child awakened you? What did it show you about the world and about yourself?