As this year draws to a close I am deeply reflective. This year has been one of the hardest years of my life! Each day and each month of this year brought a "first" without Andrew. It wasn't until November 27, the day after his 1 year anniversary of dying, that I knew what it felt like to live that day without Andrew. After 11/26, the tension and pressure eased ever so slightly. The year has been full - we bought a new house, Tyler traveled nearly every month for work, Sonja turned 2, Riley turned 5 and started 3 day/week preschool and I sunk deeper and deeper into sadness and grief, only to finally seek counsel and start to process through the demons and grief this summer. I am ready for this year to draw to a close. I see the light and hope that awaits in 2013. I look forward to keep pressing on and keep finding joy and peace in my everyday life.
Just this morning I read this on a blog I follow - these people live in Seattle and he used to be my youngest sisters youth pastor at UPC until he lost his son several years back. I wanted to share what she wrote because it hit really close to home. "People want to know that we are better now than we were then – that we are happy and living again. On one hand the answer is yes. Four years later, pain is not the primary focus of our days. Not because it isn’t there – it’s just quieter. Instead of feeling like we are experiencing cardiac arrest, it feels more as if our bones ache. We have become better at managing it; we are more used to its ways. But it is always just under the surface."
I relate to this so much - the feeling that people expect you to be over it, even after one year. Everybody so deeply wants you to be happy and ok. But the truth is, it will always be there, lingering right under your skin. Of course, as time moves on, it will not be so present and will not suffocate and overwhelm as it did this year. But how can we ever be the same again? We lost a family member, someone we grew up with and loved and shared so many sacred things with. It will be a lifelong journey to discover the new me, the me that lives without Andrew and the me that lives daily with the grief of losing him.