Thursday, January 08, 2015

This Year, I'm Gonna Live

Around 5:00pm on Valentine's Day, 2014, my old life ended and a new life began. When your child dies, you start from scratch. The house is burnt down, torn down to the foundation, and you rebuild. You look the same and you'll eventually seem to be the same, but under the surface and in the most vital ways, you are altered. How could you not be? You birthed, then held, then kissed, then released your dead child. Your life was one thing, then it was another, and you had no choice in the matter. It's a horror that you will never get past. You will learn to live with that grief, like a missing limb or chronic pain, but it's a one-way trip; you can't go back to being the person you were before.

I won't deny that this almost-year has ripped me apart; I feel a little like Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas, pieced together but threatening to tear apart with pressure. It's one of the paradoxes of grief that what breaks you also builds you. There are days when I feel like my shoulders are a mile wide from the burdens they've born and others where I am crushed under the weight.

New Year's Resolutions are not something I do, since exercise and diet plans usually end in me binge-eating cookies on the couch, and most of the things in my life that I want to change are not measurable, thus doomed to failure. I spent so much of my life prior to Haven's death waiting for the next big thing, waiting for life to happen. Wake, work, eat, TV, bed...rinse and repeat. The thing is, life is already happening. There may be some significant things that I wish were different, but if I have learned anything, it is that I only have today; I have very little control over tomorrow.

So if I only have today, I think that I should make the most of it. If I could choose something to change, it is that I want to start living fully. I want to wear the clothes I save for special occasions, learn to swim, get fit, grow my relationships, have fun, spend time thinking, read lots of books, and begin to be creative again. I want to try again, then again and again if necessary, to grow our family. I want to not give up and to rise above my bitterness and grief. I want to, and I will.

This year, I'm gonna live.


Anonymous said...

This is really good advice for everyone. I'm going to try to do the same. I read this week "there is no timetable on grief, but there is on life". (Anne B from PT)

Brandi said...

Anne, that quote is so accurate!