Today's run: 8 miles
Anyone who has lost a child - perhaps any death in the family - will tell you that the days, months, maybe even years after are such a roller coaster. One day I'll feel really good ... happy, wrapped in love and happiness about what I have been blessed with. The next day, I'll be on my knees in prayer, struggling to breathe, suffocated by the pain that I never wanted, never asked for, never did anything to deserve. Moments of sadness triggered by a memory, a song or maybe nothing at all but the void in my heart and the longing to have Reese with me.
For the most part, I feel ok. I have more good days than bad. Does that make me strong? I have no idea. Maybe just lucky. Maybe just crazy. The power of the mind is amazing. I can pretty easily convince myself into a fit of sobs and then just as easily calm myself with all of the hope and goodness I have recently discovered through this experience. What should I really feel? I don't know. I find it all so tiring most of the time. I try not to think too hard about what should or shouldn't be. I am surviving. I am living. That is enough for now.
I decided tonight to write out my list of hope and goodness. This is what I cling to when I feel the lump in my throat grow larger, the tears begin to well, the tidal wave of emotion warning me from the distance.
My List of Hope and Goodness
- She went straight from the warmth and the love of my body to the warmth and the love of God's arms.
- She never suffered, never felt pain. She will never feel physical pain.
- She only knew love. She knows we love her. She will only ever know love.
- She is still with me ... in spirit.
- We will be together again.
- She was greeted by a host of family members including her Grammy Marilyn who wanted so much to meet Riley but never did.
- When I cry, I cry for me and the pain I feel. Reese will never know this pain that I feel. She will never have to cry for anyone or miss anyone with such intensity.
- I have my little miracle, Riley Elizabeth, here on earth and she counts on me to be strong, loving and protective.
- Riley will never know the raw pain we feel. She is too young for this to be a painful memory.
- I have an amazing husband who loves and misses Reese as much as I do - my partner in this journey.
- I have incredible parents who shower Riley with love and adoration and do the same for Reese, as much as it is possible to do this from a distance. Missing her with a sweetness that only grandparents can.
- I have a sister who is a wonderful friend, a tender heart, a lifeline, who cries with me from across the miles.
- I have aunts, uncles, cousins, a mother and father in-law, sister and brother in-laws, and so many other family members who have reached out their arms and their prayers, lifting our family up to God and wishing us peace.
- I have an overwhelming network of friends and co-workers who cried with me, wrapped me in hugs, held my hand, sent me notes of compassion and would do anything for me.
- I have met a new, beautiful group of women who have also experienced the loss of their children and who have become my kindred spirits, despite the fact that most of us have never met in person.
- I have a new understanding for others who have suffered or are suffering. I feel a new commitment to give back, to make the world a better place through love and compassion. I am a better person. I can be there for others and be the mother I always wanted to be by showing my children about compassion.
- I have a new focus. A new appreciation for life, for each day, for each moment. I will not take life for granted.
- Every day is one day closer to when I will meet Reese again but I do not need to rush through life in order to get there faster. She will wait for me and, when I get there, I will run to her.