The journey

I’ve been silent lately. To be honest, I haven’t been doing well. I am struggling coming to terms with our new life and the struggle has been hard since the end of July. I feel the need to say my instead of our because I don’t want to push my thoughts outward but I also know this journey is not about me…frankly, it’s not about Declan anymore either…it’s about our collective journey.

Our sweet Declan’s Journey, well, has always been a bit different than ours. I wish to God it had taken a different path but that was not to be for our sweet boy. Our journeys intersected…his, ours, yours…and I struggle with marrying it all together. I rejoice in his life, our life as a family leading up to March 9th. I rejoice in our experience with Declan during his illness…not for the pain, clearly, but for what we had as a family together, even with all the fragmentation. And what we learned about our community, the people that were there to support us and even those who were not. I rejoice in Declan since his passing and what he has taught us about living…and here in lies the struggle for me. I know how truly precious today is…I know because my brave son taught me during his all too short life. I know, I get it and yet I feel cheated. I feel angry. I feel the hole in my heart…not the part that loves him, that will never leave me. I will carry my love for him (and all my children…you too, Stan) every second of every day…it is cemented. The hole I speak of is the loss. The utter pain of losing something so precious, so precious that words will never be adequate to describe it.

So my issue is…I get it and I don’t. We learned the toughest lesson…no one is promised tomorrow, no one. I feel on some level I live my life differently with my boys because of it and on some level I fail miserably because I feel I can’t live the best life because Declan is no longer here. This doesn’t take one SHRED of love I have for Will, Brady or Cole away, they all have the same level of love from me but how does the best life exist without Declan in it? Not just for me but for all of us? Our lives are forever different…worse and better. Better because we were given the precious gift of life. Different because our appreciation grows from the ashes of grief. How do we live the best life through the ashes of your extinguished life? Is that ok, is that what we are supposed to do? If I don’t honor your life, does it make it less valuable? If honoring your life means stirring up the pain of losing you, is that what it should?

I am lost on the how. I know I will figure it out and I know you are trying to help me sweet boy…you’re all around me. Giraffe prints, butterflies, dimes, dragonflies, songs, smells, thoughts…I know you’re reaching out to give me a hand because I can feel you trying to help, knowing Mommy needs a lift. I know I will figure a way to walk this path, not sure when or even how, but I do know you will be along for the ride helping to guide me during this journey. This new unfamiliar, even unfriendly, journey. The one filled with so much love and appreciation for today…even as it is viewed through my tear filled eyes.