Joy is truly hard to conceive in the early stages of grief. If someone would have told me I would feel joy again during that time, I would have probably shut them down immediately. The waves of grief were crashing over me so hard I could barely breathe. The pain was palpable – I could feel it in my chest like a heavy boulder. I thought for sure I would get “through” it soon. Then the days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months and it was STILL THERE. Everyday, all day, there it was. No budging. It was the most relentless, unforgiving beast I had ever encountered. Grief is brutal. My grief was a deep as my love for Harper, which knew no bounds.
I had a son, who was 3 ½ and he needed his mama. Little did he know that I needed him more. I had this beautiful child, who I thought at the time may be my only child, and I was determined to be the best version of myself for him. He deserved a beautiful childhood. I had a husband, who I adored, and he needed me. I knew he needed me to not only survive, but thrive. What surprised me most is that it wasn’t their love for me that helped me through the darkness, it was my love for THEM. I have many people that love me, but it was my love for my Michael’s that sent me on a mission to restore joy in our lives. I knew it would take time, and therapy (lots and lots of therapy), but I knew our love for each other as a family was more powerful than anything I had ever experienced, even grief.
I am more than 2.5 years out from those early months and my life is almost unrecognizable. The joy, happiness, strength and love we experience every single day as a family was so worth the fight. It doesn’t mean we don’t grieve and I don’t cry my eyes out, and yearn for Harper, but I have learned to honor those feelings, honor Harper and return to the present. I focus on being grateful for what we have.
You can do it too, I promise you, you can. You are moving in the right direction, one foot in front of the other. Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. We all need it!