Eventually you hit a battle rhythm with life, and your grief walks away from centre stage. You feel confident. You feel like the depth of sadness is only fleeting now. You are a mother bereaved, but you are happy. Then out of nowhere, grief gets you. Creeps up from behind and says – hello remember me.
As an author of a book about grief, you think I wouldn’t be surprised. We even wrote about how grief goes in cycles and that it is a lifelong process. But really, grief, did you have to show up now? I was feeling good.
But the reality is, I can’t determine when or how I will experience grief throughout my life. Sometimes the cause for my sadness will be obvious, like Alden’s birthday or deathday. And somedays I am going to be unexpectedly blue without obvious cause – other than just plain missing my son and wishing things could have worked out differently. This time around there are a few factors in play but the seven year anniversary of Alden’s death is weighing on me more than last year’s anniversary. I find myself faced with coming to terms with the preventability of it all. The last edges of my disbelief are wearing off and I have no choice but to acknowledge that this will never change.
The good news is, after years of experience I can get through these periods of grief with more ease and understanding. The confusion and overwhelm of the first few years are behind me and I can cope with the emotions more readily. Although difficult, these unexpected times of sadness also hold moments of appreciation and love for Alden that I am grateful for. It’s like we write in WYCD, “Throughout your life there will be times when you experience a resurgence of emotional pain and grief bubbling up… These moments validate your ongoing loving relationship with your child and evolving bereavement. Your child will always be in your heart and mind.”