I read early on that when you lose someone you love that it takes in and around three years to start to feel some semblance of yourself again. That number bumps to five years when you have lost a child. John and I both set our eyes on that year, that number as a goal to get to. “If we can only make it to that year we will be okay again,” we told ourselves. Five years sounds so far away when you are first in the throws of grief. Every day is damn agony – the purest form of torture; of hell on Earth. How to survive one let alone one thousand, eight hundred, and thirty- two?
But by some miracle, you do. You get up every morning. You miss your child. You do your day. You cry. You go to bed. Repeat. And at some point, I am not exactly sure when, small moments of happiness sneak in. They are tiny pinpoints of light or laughter, fleeting, but still, a welcome reprieve from the pain. And next thing you know the waves of grief don’t drown you. It is more like the gentle lapping of the water on the shore. Constant, but softer, wearing down the edges of your sadness.
And so here I am. Just shy of my fifth year and it is true, I am feeling more like my old self. Christmas has always been a time of joy for me and these past few years it has been difficult to look at any part of it without thinking of Luke and missing him. But this year I feel a bit more at peace with where I am in this journey; of how I hold Luke in my heart. Grief is not like running a marathon where you get to the end and you look back and think, “Wow! Look what I endured! Look what I accomplished!”. Grief is more of a “Phew! Made it through that day; that anniversary; that Christmas.” If this is your first Christmas missing part of your heart, I am sorry. I wish I could tell you it gets easier. I do know we get stronger. I do know we get better at carrying our love and our missing. I almost never look back now – I just look forward, to the day when I will see my sweet boy again. And I remember the love.
Rivers and roads, my son. Merry Christmas. Xxx