…. (one week later)
My husband, Todd, and I are about to embark on a new adventure. We have been given the opportunity to move back to Indiana and are very excited to begin another chapter of our lives. Mother’s Day was and will always be a bittersweet day for me. Some wonderful friends had invited us over for lunch and we enjoyed our time with them before the move. Later in the evening, I began my drive to Indiana. A long three and a half hours when driving alone. Todd stayed back at our home in the Chicago area to pack up the house for our move. I went on ahead as I will be starting a new job on Monday. A new city, new home, new job and great possibilities.
We aren’t nervous, nor afraid. We are embracing these changes and looking forward to living closer to our family and friends. In the past 18 years, Todd and I have moved to different states two other times and are now returning home. Our nine years in the Chicago area have been wonderful and blessed: living in a beautiful home, making incredible friends, and enjoying fulfilling careers.
Earlier this week we watched the movie Collateral Beauty starring Will Smith. A movie about a man’s path of grieving after the death of his daughter. I cried several times during this movie, remembering my initial grief after my three children died. This is a beautiful story of healing and love. I realized while watching this movie that after a tragedy, like the loss of a child, distractions keep you from accepting or feeling. You just can’t see the beauty in life for a while. Others may also add to distractions with good intentions thinking that it will help the grieving person.
I encourage you to remove the distractions. Embrace each emotion and feel them, deeply. Whether that is anger, sadness, joy, or love. I know that I spent that time, removing the distractions, for the year that I wrote my book, Healing Tears. Writing was therapeutic and healing as I acknowledged each emotion, worked through how and why I felt that way, found forgiveness, and was able to accept the loss of my children. I cherish each memory and am ok with laughing, crying, screaming or smiling.
For me, it is comforting that Mother’s day comes in the spring, especially this year. A time for new growth, life in bloom, and new beginnings. I know my children will be by my side with their encouragement, love and support as Todd and I leave Illinois and begin the next chapter of our lives.
I just completed your book in 2 days. It probably would have been 1, but I was chasing my littles in between reading. I just wanted to let you know that I was interested in reading the book because I was in 1st grade when Jarod was in kindergarten. I told my sister that I am not sure how, but I knew him. Our school was so large, and especially with an am and pm kindergarten, yet I knew who he was, it had to be his outgoing personality that made him stand out. I will never forget that summer. I was so young, yet felt such emotion when I saw Sean, Jarod, and Brandi’s pictures on the front of the Herald. You will forever be in my thoughts and prayers, especially now that I am a mother, your courage is amazing to me. Thank you for sharing your story.
Thank you for your wonderful comments. May your life be filled with love and laughter!
Thank you for your kind words. I enjoy connecting with classmates and their parents of my children.
I just finished reading your book and want to tell you how much I appreciate all that it took for you to put these thoughts on paper. We lost our only son when he was 18 years old (30 years ago) and I don’t think I will ever be the same. I have kept a journal many years, but not as complete as you. I am so proud of you and that we had the honor of meeting Sean when he was just a toddler. You brought him to our house to show him off and he was so blessbeautiful, and you were such a proud Mama. Kim (Bex) Stephenson is my daughter and she bought me the book for Christmas. She knew we shared a bond that only mothers who have lost a child can feel. Thank you for sharing and offering wise words of encouragement to grieving parents. There were very few books on the market when our son died. Thank you again and I feel so blessed to know you.
Thank you so much for the kind words. I am sorry for your loss. You are correct in that we will never be the same. I wish you a life filled with love and laughter!!