One of the hardest parts of grieving is accepting and learning how to move forward with life now that it has changed so fundamentally since Willie’s death. It’s compounded also by some major life changes that I made in the months after his death which have resulted in my day-to-day life and my lifestyle being radically different in ways other than just having lost one of my children.
Going from Oct 2011 where I had a job I loved with a company that I had been with for 7 years and a home life consisting of a great rental house filled with a cat and a dog and my 4 boys to how things are now is a massive shift for me. Every aspect of my life changed over a 6 month period. Looking back now over the period of Oct 2011 to July 2012 I don’t know how I made it through it… but I did and I’m here now. Maybe not unscathed, but still here.
Since I moved to Victoria in June 2012 my life has been a roller-coaster of job changes, relationships ending and more loss it felt like at every turn. Depression taking hold and grief feeling insurmountable for the last year has sent me spinning in trying to even get a foothold of how my life is now – unrecognizable and yet malleable to how I chose to make it.
The last few months rough again as the 2nd anniversary of Willie’s death passed by and the reality sinking in that grief over a life and a lifestyle lost does give way to moving forward. Learning to say goodbye in a different way… a way that accepts the permanence that he is gone and that life as I knew it IS gone forever as well… and the understanding that it’s time to consciously move forward, letting go of the grief a little, but not Willie.
I did something last week that I have avoided doing because of what it signified to me. I put up a couple of pictures of my sons and of me with my sons that have been taken since Willie died. Pictures that have only 3 boys instead of 4. I have not been able to do this until now… face the reality that there will never be another picture of me with all 4 of my boys… that I will always look at pictures of “us” and see one missing… see 3 instead of 4. The hurt that comes with that is hard to feel but it’s also time to look at those pictures and see the 3 that are still here and not just see the one who isn’t. To be able to see the happiness and smiles and “us” that still remains and still is moving forward is a huge step for me. One that wasn’t without a day of melt-down last week, but I got through it… and now my desk is adorned with not only the pictures of all 4 of my boys together but also the “new” pictures of life without Willie in it physically. Life as it is and as it has to be lived… not how I want it to be, but still able to be lived with joy and love and happiness – different than before but still able to be good again.