Most of you know that I have been able to benefit from the services of Hope Hospice since Grey's death. The counseling that I have received from them has been incredible. I spent the first six months getting individual counseling. I have spent the last 6 weeks in a mothers' bereavement group, having my last meeting today. I thought that now might be a good time to reflect on what I've learned:
Grief comes in waves. As long as I allow it to flow through me, it will not knock me over.
I am grateful that I was aware of Grey's terminal condition. I am thankful that I got to say goodbye, hold him, and see his spirit leave his shell behind.
Anger gets you nowhere fast. And in my angry stages, I would never want to hinder people from grieving by not permitting them to grieve in their own way. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
I have come out of this a different person, and so will my friends and family. I can come out of this better or worse. I feel that I have chosen to allow Grey's death to make me a better person. I have to work hard at it every day. However, there will be some, that for whatever reason, will unknowingly choose not to. It is not my place to judge them. However, it is my decision as to whether or not I will allow them to continue to be a part of my life, as it is their decision to allow me to continue in their life.
That being said, I have learned that some friends and family are your life, while others come and go with the seasons. This has probably been the hardest thing for me to accept. Some were there through Grey's illness, others for his death. Some were there right after. Some were there through this first summer. Some have been there the whole time. Being in a relationship with someone who is grieving, I know, is not easy. I realize that just because my life stopped doesn't mean others did too. Please know that I am grateful for whatever season you could give me. I cannot take the loss of these relationships personally. People give all they can give. I know that sometimes, I required too much. I hope that, as our seasons changed, you were able to take something of value with you. I did.
Grey's loss has made me a much more sensitive and aware person.
I have realized that it is OK to take care of me, and I have learned how to take better care of others.
I have learned that it is OK to continue to enjoy the things that I enjoyed when Grey was here and not feel guilty.
I have learned that every second is one that you will never get back, whether you're with a friend, your family, or a stranger. I got to say goodbye to Grey, but I might not be so lucky with others.
Those who have not lost a child could never understand the depth of my feelings. I can't expect them to. But I can be thankful when I see them try, even if the wrong words come out of their mouths.
As summer approached I was terrified of the time I would have on my hands. But I learned that my boys still needed their mom, my husband still needed his wife, my mom still needed her daughter, and my friends still needed my ear.
I am proud to say that I have made it through my first summer without Grey, even though I still mark his milestones in my head. I imagine I always will.