“Real love is always chaotic. You lose control; you lose perspective. You lose the ability to protect yourself. The greater the love, the greater the chaos. It’s a given, and that’s the secret.” – Jonathan Carroll
The New Year rolled in quietly for me. I avoided the resolutions, the “Top Nine’s”, the difference of a decade posts. I scrolled through peoples year end posts on social media, but avoided writing one of my own. I didn’t post any New Year’s photos, or celebrations, because to be honest – I didn’t feel that there was much to celebrate. 2019 was the worst year of my life, and there was nothing I wanted to do more than sit quietly and watch it slip away. Truly, my largest accomplishment of the year was that I continued to survive. I continued to live despite all the reasons I wished so desperately not to. And although that is worth celebrating, it wasn’t an accomplishment I wanted to shout from the rooftops. I did not wish to look back at my year in photos, knowing that some of the most popular ones I have are of Addison. I brought in 2019 with joy, and laughter – spending New Years eve at home, dancing in the kitchen with my daughter. I did not wish to be reminded that I started this year with her, but it was ending without her. 2019 was cruel to us. 2019 painted our world with a brush of pain, and the harsh reality of the unpredictability of life. In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you – but that does not mean you don’t wish desperately to be able to change them. I pray that 2020 will be kinder to us. That the tides will come in gently, and that the sun will shine brightly. But mostly, I hope it will be a year full of love.
“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will simply learn to live with it. You will heal, and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same. Nor would you want to.” – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
In grief, there is so much love. There are so many words unspoken. So much pain carried silently with you. Grief is like an ocean. The tides ebb and flow, and within it, I lost myself. I lost who I was before all this. I lost the ability to take care of myself. The ability to show love outside of my own heart. I lost the ability to truly fight my own mental illnesses. I succumbed to the darkness, unable to do anything more than tread water. Unable to do anything more than hope one day I may find shore again. I no longer recognized myself in the mirror. I’d lost locks of hair, pulled it out in knots due to lack of care. Nails bitten down until there was nothing left. I’d lost the ability to recognize my own needs, and with it, I lost the ability to see the needs of others. I no longer understood the concept of self-care, and self-love. I was merely a shell, existing in a world I did not necessarily wish to be a part of.
Slowly, as time passed I began to realize what I had lost. I began to understand that I had lost myself. I decided to start searching for her again. To start loving her again. To find pieces of myself among the wreckage. To search for myself with the poetry I love, to brush my hair, to treat myself to manicures, and bubble baths. To begin to come home to myself again. This is the beginning of recovery. This is a rescue mission in finding my own voice. In finding myself. In understanding that I will never be exactly as I once was, I will never feel exactly as I once did. But I am learning how to honour my grief and sadness, without drowning within it. I am beginning to write again. I beginning to love again, in small moments. I am looking for myself in the mirror once more, searching for the light in my eyes. I am finding the love I have to share with others, that I had locked away in fear. 2020 will be the year I return home to myself. Home to my love. It is going to be a year of healthy boundaries, and self-love. A year of learning to love life once more. I will never be able to erase the pain of the past, but I can learn how to continue forward, in love and in life.
“I won’t let my pain turn my heart into something ugly. I will show you that surviving can be beautiful.” – Christy Ann Martine
31weeks.4days. – We are nearing the end. One more ultrasound, and a handful of appointments stand between us, and meeting her. Her room is almost complete, just requiring a few final touches to finish it. We’ve started creating more and more space within our small home, organizing what we can and getting rid of things we no longer need. The space we hold for her in our hearts is already beating strong. Much like her heartbeat. Much like her karate-kicks, and gymnastics routines that take place on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. We anticipate her arrival with plenty of nerves, and excitement. Despite her causing the a bout of false labour on Christmas Eve – things are running on schedule. She is the perfect size, and growing constantly. She has an amazing ability to kick like mad, right until I have Richard place his hand on my belly. Of course, in that moment, her movements come to a screeching halt. Last night, she kicked Tucker while he was sitting on me. He was not impressed, but also quite shocked. Although I am at 31 weeks, it feels like this pregnancy has been going on forever. Here’s to the final stretch of the journey. Here’s to waiting patiently for you to finish growing. Here’s to your arrival – the greatest gift 2020 will bring us.
“That’s how you know you love someone, I guess. When you can’t experience anything without wishing the other person were there to see it too.” – Kaui Hart Hemmings