May 10, 2021
Yesterday was Mother’s Day… Sigh.
It’s hard to think about that annual holiday without a sigh. Multiples. Long, slow, thoughtful sighs.
Even eight years later, an unbidden and occasionally even undetected sigh escapes my inner being when contemplating the family member missing from our earthly existence.
After losing a child, sighing becomes part of life. For me, it has become so common place that I often don’t even notice when a deep expression of longing has gently left my heart, softly and invisibly wisping away into the surrounding air.
Mother’s Day has for me been a time of joy, gratitude and loving appreciation for all the moms, sons and daughters in our lives.
And still is.
Yet even as I write this, there’s a thread of sadness woven into the day, resulting in a quiet exhale.
A deep, resigned, almost inaudible sigh.
I am grateful for the many blessings in my life. Really, truly grateful. I have so much to be thankful for! I can even be thankful for the life of my child. A life gone too soon, but a life that did exist.
There are times when the contrast of emotion defines a stark reality of what we have – and what we no longer have, amplifying the sense of loss. Emphasizing the realization that someone is missing.
Thankfully, after eight years, the contrast has softened. The line between what I do have and what I no longer have has become more blurred. The sense of appreciation for the life that is no longer here grows stronger and blends into the picture of the many blessings which currently fill my life. It didn’t happen overnight. The transition has been an on-going process, as I expect it will continue to be. And as it does, it allows me to experience more joy, more often.
Even in the mourning.
For now, I still sigh… Sometimes… Though it isn’t as often.
And when those moments surreptitiously sneak up on me, I’m okay with it. I might even pause and take the time to treasure them. Take the time to appreciate the gift of having my child. Take the time to be sad, and take the time to be thankful.
When you have those moments, know that it’s normal. It’s okay. Maybe even stop and sit with it for awhile. Recognize it. Acknowledge it. Accept it as a gift, a time of remembering the unique, precious life that has impacted and enriched your own life. And realize that you can survive this. You can make it. You can get up and start walking again.
You can keep moving through this
with gratitude for the life of your child,
with encouragement that the pain will soften,
and with hope that joy will once again visit your soul.
It can really happen. Expect it, hope for it, wait for it.
One day, a moment of levity just might surreptitiously sneak up and surprise you. Pause to sit with it. Recognize it. Acknowledge it. Embrace it. Be encouraged by it. Accept the relief of the realization that once again you’re able to smile. The occasional sigh still might be heard, but the appearance of a true smile signifies the ability and possibility of more joy to come. Even in the mourning,