This week marked the first week of year 2 without her. I’ve been caught off guard by some of the emotions I’ve felt this week. But who am I kidding — shouldn’t I be prepared to be caught off guard these days?? Cause it’s happening daily!! haha. In all realness though, there’s nothing that could ever prepare you for every thing you experience (body, mind, and soul) through grief. Absolutely NOTHING.
The feeling that has hit me in the face and tried to knock me off my feet this week is that this is forever. The dust settled, year one passed, and we were still here. It’s almost strange to say because, of corse its forever! But in a way the trauma of losing a child clouds any vision towards the future. “Make it through today. And the next day. And the next day. So on…”
When October 4th was approaching I realized I was laying expectations over myself to be somewhere I wasn’t. I thought it would mark something specific in my healing. “The hardest year, complete.” Well, it didn’t. As we sat on our balcony at a hotel looking over Newport Bay, we blew out the candles for Sage’s first birthday and were both overwhelmed with emotions. It sank in. We will be doing this every year — without her — for the rest of our lives.
Other than writing and expressing my journey through my blog and my instagram, I have only opened my grief up fully to Ryan, to my family, to my counsellor, and to one girlfriend. It’s so ridiculously precious to me and takes a lot emotionally to share it all. So I’ve chose to only crack myself open for a few. It becomes an internal battle to trust people when you’re grieving. It’s one of the things I find myself frustrated about often. I get so annoyed at certain things I think or do in my grief — thinking, will this always be me?? Will I always struggle to trust people? Will I always need a little extra from my friends and family? Will I always be incapable of pouring out over the people I love because I’m so lost in my heartache? There are a lot of places I find myself and think, is this forever? And this week was one that overwhelmed me with such a stamp of it. My heart will be broken forever, until I’m with my daughter again.
But here’s the thing. As I type this, I also feel the strength rising inside of me that has taken every ounce of courage to build this year. I have dug deep into my grief. I have fallen into the pits of darkness and allowed it to linger. I have risen out of an ocean, just to find myself within it. I have held tight to every tear and scar I’ve endured, and there is absolutely nothing I would change about my first year. Though I didn’t always feel like I was doing things ‘right’, one thing I know for certain is that I followed my heart and intuition into every single day. I discovered things about myself that I never knew, I grew and sprouted a new confidence, a new security in my identity, and a new longing to live life with my heart cut open. And because of that, because of everything poured out, strength rises with me in my brokenness.