Living after loss cont’d

I missed writing on the 4th of the month but of course it was very close to my mind while on vacation with my family. July 4th was spent in Rhode Island where my middle child Temyson played in a softball tournament. We celebrated with the Americans on their July 4th weekend in a beautiful little campground called Holiday Acres. We brought our trailer along and continued on to Upstate New York to visit a very dear friend of mine who I have not seen in many years. Once upon a time, I lived in Queens, New York and we met while bartending and became kindred spirits. If past lives exist then we knew each other prior to this life without a doubt.

The girls all had fun visiting New York City and camping on our way back. All my energy went into making it through the busy vacation and I was proud of myself for being able to cope. Something I dont talk about often is my lack of energy within the grief process. My body holds intense pain and my energy is low. Yoga helps me process these emotions and provides some levity to the heaviness. I am so grateful Yoga found me on this journey.

I returned from vacation exhausted but with an overwhelming desire to write. I kept procrastinating saying I will write later but the urge continued to stir as thoughts swirled around in my mind. I started this practice of writing many years ago because I felt I writing provided some type of freedom. It is true that every time I write I feel much better emotionally. Who would have ever thought that journalling would come alive on the internet and be called blogging. A very different world indeed.

This page and the sharing of my grief unfolded organically similar to the stones that continue to span the globe. Before I lost Rehtaeh I had thoughts that demanded to be heard that usually ended up on paper. These days I come to this page. Ironic since I have always been a very private person. The creation of this page, the events/media that followed and all changes that have occured has me convinced that my life’s destiny is not a conscious decision afterall. Life unfolds in ways we can not expect. We can have all the plans we want but life shows us otherwise.

Coming to this page is similar to walking into a room full of love and support. Who knew that could happen on the internet! So, instead of pen and paper I often come here to share. I know others can relate to pain/grief. Thankfully, I have come to trust this process. This year’s vacation has spurred another round of emotions for me. I did not think about anything as I entered my home after 11 days away but there “it” was as soon as I entered. The pain seeping through me, like a shadowy figure engulfing me step by step as I entered my home.

After sharing these feelings of homecoming with a few others who lost children I am reminded that there is a process called “re-entry grief” and that I am feeling my loss all over as I realize that coming home means that my girl is not here. Although, we all know this on an intellectual level the brain is a trickster and tries to protect us over and over again. Emotionally, I am no longer the driver and emotions rise up and show up when they do. I can not stop these feelings anymore than I could stop the rain from falling from the sky. I am a passenger of life and learning to receive what arrives as difficult as it may be. We spend our entire lives building illusions only to realize the true road to peace is peeling away the layers we built of how things “should” be.

Another mother who lost a child wisely mentioned that we would not want to “move on” in our lives and “not” feel the pain of our loss. This is so very true. The pain reminds us of our love for our child. While we want to live and enjoy pleasures in life – pain is also our constant companion that tells us it happened.They were here! We loved and were loved. Grief and life are always showing us both ends of the spectrum demanding to be heard. I am trying to be present to listen and feel all of the wonders of life. I hope you are as well.