I am up early before the household gets busy, the best time of day to drink a cup of coffee uninterrupted. I was on Facebook earlier and saw a reminder post from 3 years ago when Will was only a week old. The reminders are bittersweet, and they are frequent because I celebrated him every day. I still celebrate Will, but the grief of losing the healthy boy to this disabling diagnosis lingers.
For me, there isn’t a solution to the sadness that rears its head, but there are a few strategies that I have found helpful. Grief isn’t something that passes through like a virus; it’s a little piece of heartache that hangs out in the background that becomes part of who you are moving forward. When it moves toward the front of the stage, and it will, it’s essential to be able to acknowledge it and give the attention it deserves. Some tears will fall, the pain in my chest lessens as the tide moves back out, and I know that grief will always be there because I love him so much. I will always feel sad for what we have lost to this disability. I will always want more for him. I will always let my heart feel the loss because it’s not healthy for me to focus on only the good and ignore my intermittent sadness. I have to be present with these feelings when they arise, attend to them, and then take a step forward.
People who grieve find their way to move forward. Some people know they need to avoid certain situations that may trigger their feelings of loss. These same people may decline invitations to certain events like baby showers, funerals, or hospitals. It’s hard to imagine how you might change because of grief until you are there.