Cloudy or Sunny
So often I dread October because it’s the month my daughter passed away. I dread what I once loved – the season change bringing in a beautiful landscape of color across the land. Picking out a Halloween costume to wear while handing out candy to trick or treaters. Transitioning into the holidays with Brittany’s birthday and newly fallen snow.
In the early years after my daughter’s death, I saw things very differently. I began to dread October. It became the start of the dark season in my life and I found myself longing for a type of “hibernation” much like a bear does to avoid the long cold winter. I know some of you might resonate with that last statement. I didn’t spend too long there and while October still brings sad memories for me, but I now live in a warm climate and many of the triggers are no longer present. What I see now are palm trees and beaches. Moving to Florida has been good for me. My writing has been more inspired by the beauty of the gulf. The serenity that the waves bring. I find a sense of peace at the beach more than any other place. That has been good for my healing.
Let me explain. I have found that removing myself from some of the memories has been the best decision thus far. Not to say that it would work for others, but for me, understanding how I grieve and how I survive – it works. I have created a special place to honor my girl. It’s all about her and it is fluid like the clear running water of a spring stream. It’s there when I need it to be and while I don’t look at it daily, I know it is there, ever present when I need it to be. It moves with me when I move and stays just outside of my vision. Only when I feel the need to look over, do I see it and feel she is there. This doesn’t work for everyone. Some need that final resting place to go to. Some I know visit the graves of their lost children daily. Her father and I chose to cremate our daughter understanding how much we move about that keeping her with us was the right choice – for us.
During the first couple of years I spend a great deal of time creating a memory scrapbook with pictures of her. I also have created a memory book of the most precious of pictures over her life. I also created a book of poems and art work she created. My family heirloom hope chest protects some of the most treasured items I have left of Britt’s. That is always available when I need to grieve.
When I feel it swell up in my throat to the point that I cannot swallow. I know it’s coming. The symptoms are subtle but they creep up and at some point, I have to acknowledge it. Grief has seasoned me that way. I have learned to respect it. Not saying there is anything about it that is ok. It’s not. But I have learned to move with it, lean into it and at times, all out immerse myself in it.
Grief is and always will be part of my life. It has been the great teacher and mentor of how I live my life now. I live life differently now and it’s because I understand how fragile it is. How often we take it for granted. I respect grief. I allow it to enter my soul and have its way. Then I say enough and I take back my heart and dust off my pain and go to the water where I know my soul speaks. I accept what has happened. Not without questions. I still ask them today. But I, like my daughter, live life to the fullest because that is life. Much like spring. I’ll write about that next time.
Until next time