My brief absence from writing has reminded me of something so important. That what I do here when I write, is my way of "normalizing" the feelings I have about the loss of Ryan.
There was so much discussion about how we'd "find our new normal" as time passed. Not to worry about how the grief felt right away. Eventually we'd return to "normal."
Well for me, grief is normal. This is what my normal looks like now. And I don't say that to be pitied. Or to have people worry about me. Or to think that I'm NOT normal. I have actually found a lot of peace in the acceptance of my grief. In not wishing it away, fighting it, or tamping it down, trying to extinguish its flame. I work through it. I manage it. I sink into it sometimes. Because this grief will always be a normal part of my life. It will come on in waves, as the cliche says. And it does. Yesterday was a great reminder of that. I'm never "safe" from grief now. And that's okay.
I'm proud and pleased to share it here every day. Those early days, weeks, months of my grief, when I was trying to "cope" with it quietly, those were some of the hardest in this whole journey. Sure, the grief was "more fresh." And I was looking at the world through the darkest of fogs to ever cloud my vision. But it wasn't until I started talking about it -- well, writing about it, really -- that I was able to accept it.
My grief no longer shocks me. I expect to feel sad. I expect to feel anger. Worry. Fear. Anxiety. But I also know to expect to feel happy. Hope. Love.
I plan to continue writing because it's part of my normal now. I write. I cuddle teddy bears. I visit the cemetery on a fairly regular basis. I do have a new normal. And grief is a big part of that. My grief is as intertwined with me as my baby boy. Unfortunately they're connected. But that makes them equally a part of me. And so, as I welcome my Ryan into my heart, I welcome that grief, too. We'll figure it out together.