Back to School

Sept 4th 2017

September begins – the fourth of every month is a struggle but September always triggers moments of things that will never happen again. Buying school supplies and wondering what my child would be doing now if only she were still here. I often veer away from the “if only” scenarios because I know the mind can take me down some dark twisted roads that don’t resemble the truth. The roads only lead to more sadness anger. I am okay with my sadness and anger but the mind is quick to attach stories to our emotions.

When the pull to go into the “what ifs” becomes really strong I go within to walk with the thoughts and feelings.. September and the start of a new school year pulls me in every year. Maybe it’s because Rehtaeh LOVED to learn. Rehtaeh once LOVED school until that dreadful night.  Rehtaeh had many dreams and goals about her education. She often became very animated and excited about the possibilities of what she wanted to do with her life.  But the reality of this pull is more about all the experiences Rehtaeh will never have.

I see the kids buying their new sneakers and clothing in the malls. I remember Rehtaeh’s excitement around this time of year.  What to wear that first day of school was always an exciting dilemma. Memories of picking out the right binder, pens, pencils with the personal touch feels like a sharp blade poking at my heart. As if there are not enough scars gathered in this space.

 I have other children so I am engulfed in the back to school activities that tell me another school year soon begins. A reminder that I will never see what Rehtaeh will do with her educational achievements.  It hurts! It stings! It causes my eyes to sit with liquid tears – always on the brim of overflowing in any moment.  There are also other reminders that I embrace.

I embrace the awareness that Rehtaeh continues to inspire me every day. Her message is strong and her work ongoing. She has given me more strength day after day to keep being her voice. I feel blessed to be her Mom. Her goals and dreams have changed but they still exist. I know  It’s okay to feel pain. I walk this path holding hands with my pain AND my love for my child because there is room for both.