It really doesn’t seem possible.
I remember in the early days thinking 5 years seemed like it would never happen. I couldn’t imagine continuing to walk forward. It felt so wrong to keep living when my son had died. A large chunk of my world crumbled that day. When things crumble, though, you get a chance to rebuild.
For the past 5 years I have been learning to fit Gabe’s memory into my daily life. I know that much of the compassion I have because I have been through his death is unbelievably valuable in my job. I know I deal with his brothers differently than I would have otherwise.
Making it through Gabe’s death has shown me just how strong I am. My life looks very, very different today than it did on April 8, 2016. I never would have imagined the changes that would happen in these 5 years, but even though his death was horrible and sad, these changes have not been. Gabe’s death has strengthened my faith, brought new friendships and made old ones stronger, and given me a perspective on life that can only come through a deep loss.
I’m not really sure what life would look like if April 8, 2016 had been just another ordinary day. I’d love to still have Gabe here. But the positive growth and beautiful changes to my life are something I would not pass up.
I once read something about the word “and” with relation to grief. It’s ok to be sad that your child won’t reach a milestone AND happy for their friends that do. It’s ok to be angry that your child is gone AND happy for something good that happens. For me, I’m sad that he’s gone AND I’m thrilled with the way my life is now. I feel peace knowing that Gabe sits from Heaven and has seen this progress over the past 5 years.
Today will be spent with the boys- lunch out and ice cream, of course. Then as the boys spend time with their dad I will spend time with my prince charming- who I know Gabe would have loved.
Life is messy. The crumbling that happened that day really left ruins for a while, but the rebuilding process has been quite beautiful.