I have a list of categories for my blog, everything I write is divided into a few main subjects. Autism, Motherhood, DIY/Pinterest-y stuff and Grief. Before I publish a post I check a box next to one of the topics, classifying under what category my writing falls. A few years ago, I checked the box next to “grief” for nearly every post. It was all I could write about. The only thing I needed to talk through, to make some kind of sense
I rarely check that box anymore and I know this is a good thing. It means life goes on and the pain, as so many told me, does get easier to live with. You make room for it in your life. It cozies up and sits down beside you and you don’t push it away like you used to, you just let it sit here when it needs to, knowing it won’t stay for as long as it did in the past.
You spend afternoons not being grateful enough for your kids and screwing up dinner and you don’t relive the day in your mind, making sure you thought about the daughter you are missing because you know you did. At some point you did, you have every single day since the last time you saw her and this one is no different.
There is no more forcing her memory onto complete strangers or awkward counting of your children because you’ve grown confident in sharing her memory with the people who will take care of it and keeping it for yourself when you decide it’s better that way. You could live this time of year with your eyes closed. The anniversaries of everything leading up to the end find you before the fall air and leaves crunching under your feet.
And you recognize yourself in those women who told you that it would get easier, that you would just keep moving forward and one day it would not be so hard to wake up in the morning. You remember how you never wanted that to be you, vowed you would grieve for your daughter long and hard and strong. In strange, somewhat unexplainable ways, you still don’t want to hurt less
You are relieved, so relieved that you can smile and laugh and enjoy your children but a part of you would go back to that last day just to be closer to your daughter. You would rather the intense pain be your reminder of her life than a dull ache. To be seconds or hours away from knowing her weight in your arms rather than counting the days until seven whole years without her.
Every year the same feelings return and catch your life-living self by surprise. You almost welcome them with the season, curl up and tuck your head in their familiar shadow, let them take your mind where they must. And you open your laptop and click the keys through the swirling thoughts, knowing someone else might see themselves in your words and even if they can’t they’ve taken the time to read anyway and for that, you will be forever grateful.
In my complete neglect of blogging this summer I realized I never shared my Listen To Your Mother video so as much as I don’t like seeing myself on camera, I’m sharing it here. Feel free to watch in case you haven’t heard enough of me yet today.
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