Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Looking Back on Looking Back

I haven't posted for over two years but don't think for one second that means I haven't been writing. A few things have happened lately that had me hunting for some time to log in and consider posting. So, here I am.

I dug through some of the entries I saved, but never posted. I found this one from almost two years ago. Reading it today, and just before the Christmas season, I particularly liked it and decided to share. I think I like it so much because I remember that this is when I finally started to turn the corner in my grief. This is about the time where the fog was lifting and I was also able to let more and more good times happen without feeling guilty or ashamed to smile and laugh.

From December 2013

Yep. We made it another year. Another wonderful year of new memories and amazing accomplishments. It's been a glorious 365 days of mostly pleasant surprises, and minimal setbacks. It was a year of two steps forward, and none back. It was really just great... and I wouldn't change a thing... except it was another year without you.

I have downgraded to being only mildly ashamed to admit out loud that it gets easier to live without you. It's a seemingly endless road to get to a place where you feel that way. I'm not totally comfortable in this new mindset but I'm learning to embrace it and let it happen. It's as if my continued pain and excruciating grief is a badge that I thought I was supposed to wear forever. Lately, I don't want to keep wearing it, and I don't want everyone to know about it, so I slowly tear it off when nobody is watching. A little at a time. Eventually it will be gone, and tucked away safely in my pocket. People will notice and that's ok. But if you look close enough, you'll still see the little tears and loose threads that remain where the badge was once secured. I'm already with that too.

It's been a little over two years, but now the days start to slip by a little more effortlessly. The nights are enjoyed with more and more sweet dreams. The weeks and months keep driving forward at their usual pace, but I have choreographed a new rhythm that keeps me in step.

You will usually find me looking forward, and only sometimes do I glance back to "that day". While I was wrapping a load of presents for everyone for Christmas one afternoon, I did stop and look back if only for a second. I had learned to live with your absence so well, that I didn't realize until I was in the middle of it all, that I wasn't wrapping anything for you. That you weren't going to open anything, because you aren't here.  How did I not see that coming? As if the past two-and-a-half-years didn't teach me to prepare myself for these moments. I guess that's normal. I guess you learn to stop bracing for the next round of tears and heartache, and so while some things still catch me by surprise, it's simply because I stopped preparing for them during all of my waking hours. Not because I forgot, but I somehow taught myself not to, and it's much better place. I still welcome thoughts of her, however painful they might be, but I am not afraid of them anymore.

I LOVE you baby girl... to the North Pole and back!

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