Each Friday, Exhale highlights a piece from a former issue on our FB page.
Today it came time to re-run a post I wrote for our Spring 2011 issue entitled, "Sharing My Fears on Grief's Roller Coaster." In that post I talk about what happened when we lost Peyton, and in the year that followed, and why I chose to write about my darkest days here, even when I knew that in doing so I was exposing my own weaknesses and feelings of guilt.
Today I was re-reading my own words, lines written in what feels like another lifetime, and I came across this:
"Twenty eight days later, Peyton’s entire lifetime, with a still empty car seat heckling me from the back of our Ford, my car rolled to the front of the line, the pulley chain was attached, and I began my unsteady journey along the tracks of the roller coaster they call grief. A ride that, up until recently, I wasn’t even sure I had the strength to survive."
I wrote that a year ago. One year. That is all.
I read that post and I think, "was that me? Really? Still so hopeless. Still so unsure that I could find joy again."
I cannot believe how much my outlook has changed, how much I have healed. I cannot believe how much my pain and love for Peyton has morphed into something beautiful.
Sometimes when you are living life without all of your children here on earth, each day can feel like the one before and the one before that and the one before that. A never ending cycle of Groundhog's Day grief where nothing changes.
But you know what? Even when it doesn't feel that way. Even when (as was the case when I wrote this) a happily-ever-after feels insulting in its impossibility, change is happening.
Sometimes it takes looking back to see how far you have truly come.