Tonight I had dinner with a dear friend and she asked me how I was doing. She asked me how I was really doing. Lately I’ve found that anyone who ever asks me that question anymore are loss Moms. I love being asked with sincerity how I really feel. I looked her in the eyes and felt warm and responded whole-heartedly, “I am well.”
Last week I decided to give my blog a facelift and add some color to it. I took down the black and white photo of Sam as my header and inserted the real, color, full of life and simultaneously death, photos of him and of me. I shared with my friend tonight that something changed in me on May 25th of this year. I woke up the day after Sam’s first birthday and I felt something deep in my soul that I had endured an entire year of the hardest heartache I can imagine. I survived.
I realize that much like my blog, it’s time to add color back to my life. That once a piece of me died, a new part of me emerged and was able to live differently, more freely. I was driving home from our dinner together thinking to myself that I would willingly, unquestionably give up my new freedom to have Sam, but I cannot. Death chose me and now I’m learning to live.
Some days I admittedly feel removed from my grief. Because some days it’s no longer ripping my heart to pieces. Some days it still does. I fervently hate those days. But I keep replaying in my heart two bits of wisdom from some beautiful women at Landon’s Legacy Retreat. 1. I have a lifetime to grieve. God willing, that is a really, really long time. It gives me power over my grief. It allows me to choose the times where I can lose my shit without judgment; and I do. 2. Losing Sam will never change but life is constantly changing. In fact it seems the only constant in life is change. With that knowledge, I’m teaching myself in love, how to become adaptable.
My asana practice is continually training me how to quite my mind and observe my body however it feels. It relates so well to my grief and empowers me to take notice of my feelings rather than becoming overwhelmed by them. I’ve found that detaching myself from my emotions helps me to accept reality and stay focused on the present. Detaching isn’t loving any less, it’s acknowledging what exists and being mindful of how to proceed. It creates a space for freedom.
Recently I’ve wondered if I spent a lot of time growing up being mistaken on self love. I spent the better part of my childhood pouring love into Jesus and thinking it selfish to focus on myself. I can recall a lot of my insecurities and how they secretly bubbled inside of my heart for most of my life but it’s different now. I told my friend tonight, “I like me.” The former misunderstanding must lie within me. No one told me caring for yourself was wrong but I spent a lot of time caring about other things.
Losing Sam forced me to turn my focus inward and has allowed me in a sense, to recreate my life. It is a little over a year ago that I shared, “I’ve had a particularly difficult time when people tell me we will be blessed from our loss. On Sunday the church sang ‘It is Well’ and Ted and I both agreed it is not well. Not in this moment.” Today I see those blessings. I see them in my yoga community, in my loss Mom community, in my family and friends. Most of all, I see them in me. It’s not blessed how I want to be – with Sam in my arms but it is well.