10 years ago we said goodbye to Nick, our firstborn son, our miracle, and one of the pure lights in our lives. It seems like a lifetime ago, it feels like yesterday.
There are moments of clarity from that day and thankfully blankness. The mind isn’t meant to hold so much trauma. I want to remember the essence of Nick, the beauty of him inside and out, the pure joy he had in making others laugh, and the compassion and love he showed others.
I have learned that no matter where I go, here I am. The pain of losing my child has ebbed and flowed over the years. It’s been a tsunami threatening to wrench my hands from the last tree limb and destroy me. I have often wanted to let go. But I have managed to hold on, so that the floating waves calm me into thinking the worst is over.
Losing a child is never over. I don’t care what the circumstances. Mine happened to be from cancer, which catapulted me into a mission to help others through Nick’s Fight and my writing. I have ridden the storm for 10 years, and I wish I could tell the parents who just lost their child that the pain will end, that the hole in your heart will seal, and you can live the life you expected.
The pain doesn’t end. That hole sometimes collapses into a crater. It can slowly fill in, but never completely.
As I sit here thinking about my boys-one too far away for me to ever hold and the other a quick drive away, I understand that life isn’t what I expected. Life just is. It ebbs and flows in its own path.
It’s up to me how I’m going to ride it. Sometimes I fall real hard, and it’s tough to get up. That is where family, friends, and knowing my purpose get me back on my feet. That’s the constant. They are always there no matter what happens, no matter how I show up-flat on my face or standing tall.
They showed me that no matter where I am, there is hope. Riding this storm of grief, I know this down to my core.
As I tumble through the undercurrent of my grief today, I have some special people reaching in to pull me out. I am grateful.
I love my boys more than life. They are my life. I would do anything for them. Right now the best I can do is live my own life true to me, so they will do the same for themselves.
No matter where I am, there is hope. Thinking of my boy today. Love them both with all my heart.