Grief is an inward journey

I have been spending a lot of time alone this past week – allowing myself to feel.  Allowing some very sad emotions to rise to the surface. I am standing directly in front of my emotions and saying “Yes, I am here!”  I have always said that the concept of “time heals” does not exist when we lose our child. Time is not my friend.  However, that is not entirely true! Time does not take away this immense pain but it does allow us to dive in and learn about ourselves in our pain.  For example,  I have learned that spending too much time alone can cause me to isolate in ways that make me feel disconnected from society. Yet, if I stay too busy I push away important emotions that are demanding to be felt which lead to illness and fatigue. This grief work is hard hard stuff!  It’s work!

I have been feeling  every day close in on me as memories as our last moments together come flooding in arriving front and center. As we approach five years  leading up to April 4th through to April 7th  I am reminded how hard she was trying to take back her life AGAIN during those weeks.  I can feel that strong heart felt hug she gave me days before she left us. This was a reminder me that Rehtaeh Parsons in her authentic self could still be felt in all that trauma. A reminder to me that day that she was still that girl with the strong determined heart . She is fighting for her life and she was still there beneath the layers of pain and self doubt.  She chose to stay here on earth. She shared those sentiments with me many times. She just didn’t have ENOUGH  time to find her way back to being able to stand in her truth fully. She was only Seventeen! She did not have enough time !  This continues to break my heart over and over again. But I feel her strength everyday. I feel her in every move I make.

Rehtaeh knows how hard I am struggling right now. I feel her so strongly this week. Every year around this time she sends me reminders of her purpose – our purpose.  Just yesterday the Technician taking my blood saw my pin (Rehtaeh’s face on my coat) and had tears in his eyes. He said “Your Rehtaeh’s Mother?” and asked for a hug.  When I left I stopped at the health food store and the woman at the counter also commented and said “She is so near and dear to my heart!”  At the Masstown market the woman behind the counter saw my pin and began to cry. I gave her that pin and replaced it with a new one. A young boy reached out to me recently saying that his life has changed after hearing about Rehtaeh. These people are complete strangers and five years later Rehtaeh still holds a place in their heart . She is very much alive.

I have very little family (beside me and my girls) that I am close to and this type of connection (people Rehtaeh and I never knew) has been a lifeline and reminder  that our purpose is so much larger than we can ever imagine. So while I think I am all alone at times I know that is not true.

Time has taught me that the missing and loss stays but the intensity of emotions finds its own ebb and flow –such is life.  I have found that sweet spot of isolating and connecting with my small tribe through trial/error and TIME. Connecting with all of you which I now consider my larger tribe is also very important to me on this journey.

I am paying attention to my inner dialogue and respecting what I need at this time. I have cancelled plans. I have made new plans. I have allowed the day to unfold without plans. This is how I honour myself going into a very hard week –solitude/ connection and finding that balance. We have to go inward to know who we truly are.

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