Three years ago on this day life changed. It was going one way and then sometime shortly after 4 PM it took an awful turn. It was completely shocking and devastating. Now that I’ve been on this journey I’ve learned some things.
I’ve learned that I’m much stronger than I thought I could be. It takes an immense amount of strength to even get up in the morning (especially in those early days and months) when you remember, every single morning as you wake up, that one child is no longer here.
I’ve learned that I have a wonderful husband. I knew he was before, but this has made me especially thankful. Marriage is hard work, and it is especially hard when you add the grief that comes with the loss of a child. Everyone grieves differently and husbands and wives are no different.
I’ve learned that my children are extremely strong. They had so much trauma that day and continue to overcome it. I know they miss Gabe so much yet they keep moving forward.
I’ve learned that most days are good, some even great. Gabe is always on my mind. ALWAYS. But I go about my day and do what I have to do.
I’ve learned that the only ones who understand this particular loss are those who have been through this particular loss. All types of loss are different. I can’t understand what it’s like to lose a sibling or spouse, and those who have been through those losses don’t understand mine. And that is ok. I lean more on those who unfortunately “get it”. Compared to those on this journey I’m pretty appropriate in my grieving where I am right now. Other child loss parents have communicated that it takes YEARS to really comprehend and begin to clear through the rubble, but those who have not been through it don’t seem to understand this. I think some are starting to panic that I’m not better yet. The funny thing though is that I don’t really think I’m doing bad. I am caring for my boys, my house (OK I’m not doing so well there but that’s nothing new!), keeping marriage going, and I have a VERY demanding job caring for 12 children between 11 months and 5 years. I’m also taking a class that has tons of learning and memorization- and I have a high A. Not only am I not doing bad, I think I’m doing pretty darn well.
I’ve learned that my grief is appropriate for ME. And that I’m exactly where I need to be. In the words of a children’s song: Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, can’t go around it, have to go through it!
And I’m learning how to do just that.