As this project comes to a close, I want thank those of you who followed along. Your little encouragements with personal messages or post likes, comments, and shares are meaningful to me. Even though I don’t respond to most of them they are appreciated.
This is not an easy project to do…it takes time, it takes thought, it takes re-living some of those toughest moments of my life. However, by actually taking the time and making the effort to put my thoughts into words, somehow I seem to get new insights into some of my own thoughts and feelings, I come up with new ways to describe the experience, and I solidify some things that I’ve felt all along. I think journaling is an incredibly healing experience and these prompts are done very well. They encourage reflection in a way that brings hope and healing. I’d certainly encourage others to give it a try, whether it’s openly for the world to read or in your own private journal at home.
One of the helpful things in my early grief, was to read others experiences and to know I was not alone. To know that others could feel what I was feeling and still go on to lead a happy and fulfilling life brought hope. They could offer new perspectives that seemed to help calm the sea. By sharing this project shared on social media, outside the “safety” of support groups or closed circles of bereaved parents, I hope that others can get a glimpse into the mind of someone wrestling with the aftermath of losing a child. I hope that by “normalizing” grief to some extent that it won’t seem so foreign and scary when it happens to someone we love. I hope it will make it a little easier for us all reach out with gentle compassion and some sort of understanding when people we love are grieving.
I know I am not the only one to suffer. Everyone has their own personal experiences of struggle, loss, and grief. Not everyone’s struggles can be shared out loud. I hope that by telling my story and my path to healing that I am not the only one who gets something out of it. I hope that in some way sharing my experience, because I can, will touch someone else and help in their road to healing, too.
You know that feeling that you get when you actually stop what you are doing to watch and appreciate a sunset…there’s something like that in this project. To stop what I’m doing and give my attention to the journey of grief does something of the same. Grief, like joy and a beautiful sunset, are holy. Grief is love’s souvenir. It is our proof that we once loved—and that that love continues beyond death. When we watch a sunset, or look at a heart after loss, for that moment, we are stopping to notice that heaven has reached down to touch the earth.