This past week has been both hard and wonderful.
Some things happened that mean the next few months are going to be extra painful, extra stressful and extra challenging.
But I had a grace-filled, heartwarming visit with another bereaved mama who came all the way from Maine just to hang out with me. And that was so, so good.
As she and I shared over coffee and tea, shopping and meals, lounging and walking we found so many ways in which our journeys have been similar even though the details are really very different.
One is this: There was a distinct moment along the way when each of us began to see light and color again in the midst of our darkness and pain and it was a turning point.
When I was forced unwillingly on this long, hard journey, everything was dark. Nothing sparked joy. The whole world became a grainy black and white image on an ancient TV and it was fuzzy, flat and utterly uninteresting.
What’s worse, my heart could only REALLY feel two things-pain and love-and they were so inextricably intertwined I was no longer sure which was which.
I couldn’t run fast enough or far enough to escape the darkness or the pain.
I had to face all the awful of child loss, embrace it, feel it, work through it, talk about it in safe spaces with safe people and sit quietly for hours with my thoughts and uncomfortable emotions. I had to let time do the work that only time can do.
There are no shortcuts on this journey.
And then there was a moment when I saw something beautiful and felt something wonderful and I didn’t have to TELL my heart it was beautiful and wonderful.
I just KNEW and I could FEEL it.
At first, these moments didn’t last long and were isolated. But eventually the moments came faster, lasted longer and were closer together. I learned to embrace them, hold onto them, build upon them and look for them.
Now, the moments of light, life and color make up most of my days.
I have not forgotten Dominic. My heart aches to see him again, hold him again, share life with him again. But I’ve learned to hold that yearning for the life I used to have and gratitude for the life I live now in the same heart. I’ve found that allowing joy to fill my soul doesn’t push him away or to the side as if he doesn’t matter.
So if you think there is no way you can survive this awful, awful journey, keep going.
If you are still in the dark days and fearful light will never penetrate the depth of your pain and despair, hold on.
If your world has gone colorless, don’t give up.
Look for your moment, it’s coming.
And when it does, grab it.
There’s more where that came from.