Empty

In the spirit of full disclosure, I want to share a very real fact: I am not as “healed” as my blog might make me appear. It’s true, I have learned much on my ten-year journey upon this path. I haven’t learned it all . . . and actually, every day I come across something else I need to face. This. Is. Exhausting.

Trudging along this path wasn’t my choice. I had a much different journey planned for our lives. As I know you did. Full of light, not the shadowy landscape into which losing a child plunges us. Today is one of those days when the darkness never really left as the sun rose this morning. Somehow, it clung to me and I just couldn’t shake it. As I write this, the sun has almost set and I am glad the day is nearly finished. Dusk has mixed with the ever present shadows and I feel sorrowful. I am glad this day is almost over.

Today is one of those days when the darkness never really left as the sun rose this morning. Somehow, it clung to me and I just couldn’t shake it. As I write this, the sun has almost set and I am glad the day is nearly finished. Dusk has mixed with the ever present shadows and I feel sorrowful. A state we all learn to live in.

Surviving the loss of a child is the hardest thing we will ever experience. We will be doing the healing work every single moment of the rest of our lives. Even as we slumber, our minds are trying to completely accept our new reality. It’s not often we get a restful night of sleep. The best time of the day is the moment we wake up. That split second before we remember the truth. As we push the bedcovers aside, still weary with the weight we carry, we place our feet on the floor to start another day.

This is an undertaking that must both be done in a solitary state, and with others who understand. We need time alone . . . but just as important is time spent with those who can relieve us of a portion of the weight for just a few moments. I’ve found, even when I can hand my pain to another, I have a needy desperation waiting for it to come back to me. The sorrow is proof that we loved. Our aching empty arms remind us that they once held our child. Our tears will bring forth echoes of laughter. This is the truth of being a bereaved mother.

I wish I had words of inspiration this evening. I don’t. Words of encouragement perhaps. When you have a day that is more difficult than you ever thought it could be . . . remember it’s not going to last. The night will come . . . then sleep. Waking up in the morning, willing to try again, is true bravery. Be gentle with yourself. You are doing very hard work.

When I post this, I’ll close the computer, shut the lights off, then stop to kiss the marble urn that holds my daughter’s ashes. I’ll say “I love you my Becca. I miss you.” then I’ll rub my finger across the picture of her as a baby. The one with the smooshy face. If I am lucky, she’ll visit me in my dreams when she’s finished stringing stars together.

Weary, I’ll lay my head upon the pillow with her name. Tomorrow, I will try again.

You will, too.

I'm a mother, artist, and writer. A decade ago I lost my daughter. I find writing, and painting, heal me. Sharing my story of loss and healing lightens what I carry. And, hopefully, my words help another along the way.

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