So I have been really struggling with all these feelings that grief scuffs up. Most of them are ones I’m really not used to, like hopelessness. Before the loss of our son, I was always optimistic … I could always find the bright side of any situation, even when the forecast wasn’t looking that way. Before I always had this certainty that no matter what happened, Jon and I could get through it. But now I wake up each morning and say to myself “How the hell are we gonna survive this?” “How can anything get better when our son isn’t here?” We literally both lost a piece of ourselves. How does anyone put one foot in front of the other when life takes away your purpose, all while showing you nothing is guaranteed? When your reality just consumes you with sadness and you can see no light. Some people want to rush you to that light, giving you platitudes of “time heals all wounds” or “you’ll have another child someday.” Guess what? Time is currently my worst enemy, because everyday we wake up to the same reality that he’s not here. Also, one child does not replace the other. Any mother who has lost a child can confirm that there will always be a hole in our hearts because we lost them. While one day I dream that we can welcome a living child, he will always be our first born.
So I’ve had to come to terms that this grief, this loss, has made me a different person. It’s something that most days I am not willing to accept, because I just want the old Kelley back. I want the happy go lucky Kelley, the super optimistic, nothing can get me down Kelley. While parts of those characteristics may still be there, I am forever changed. I’m trying to embrace this and make this the positive side of my grief. I believe my son is teaching me a lesson to say: while I may be harden by the realities of our cruel world and choose to be less naive now, at the same time I am softened to see the pain of others and can have honest compassion for them. And most importantly I am saying goodbye to the people pleaser in me. I have always been SO consumed in other’s happiness that I forget my own. I put others first to a fault, constantly worrying what they’ll think or that I may be letting someone down. Because I truly retain joy seeing others joyful, but I cannot do it at the expense of my own sanity or self worth. This was the kind of stress I was feeling right up until the loss of our son, being there for everyone else but blocking out what I really needed. So my Baby Boy is telling me, please take care of yourself, then and ONLY then, you can truly be there for others.
Most importantly it has taught me to be honest. I’m trying to better at telling people exactly what I need. I was stricken with constant anxiety of not wanting to rock the boat or cause conflict. But ya know what? If I let all those true feelings stay inside me and not honestly voice them, they’ll just eat me alive. What good does that do anyone? It just makes me feel worse and then I’m portraying something false to the other person. We need to speak our minds mindfully. Because I’m not promoting that we should just say whatever the hell we want with no awareness of the other person. But more to encourage both parties to speak their mind in a constructive way, setting boundaries and expectations on both sides, so the outcome is a healthy and honest relationship. My bucket of fucks are quite empty these days. Loss gives you a true perspective of what’s really important in this short life we live. I do not have time to hold grudges or hold onto any negative feelings or conflict. I simply want to put it all out there – the good, the bad, the ugly. If you can accept it great, if you can’t, girl bye.
Part of me thought of naming this blog “Yoncé and Yoga” … well because it has a good ring to it 🙂 But also because Beyoncé is pretty much my spiritual leader. Not just because she is beautiful, is married to Jiggaman and can slay all day. But because she puts herself out there honestly and wholeheartedly. I know all this may sound cheesy to the non BeyHive followers, but in general I feel like music brings so much healing, so whatever your taste may be, embrace that. Also getting the opportunity to see her live … you know she is breathing every ounce of her being into her art (I mean did y’all see Lemonade?!). So here I am pouring all my soul into these words as I type. But as I was jamming out to Lemonade in my car the other day, her song “All Night” came on and these lyrics resonated with me so much …
“They say true love’s the greatest weapon
To win the war caused by pain
But every diamond has imperfections
But my love’s too pure to watch it chip away
Boy nothing real can be threatened
True love breathes salvation back into me
With every tear came redemption
And my torturer became my remedy”
Because Jon and I’s love is the greatest weapon in all of this, our son was created from our love, so there our love will always be. While we are going through probably the worst tragedy that hopefully will ever hit us, we can’t let it break us. So I know every tear I cry has a purpose, there is a purpose for this pain, knowing it will make the light that much greater when it comes. My torturer is this shitty thing called grief, but I am renewed from it. I’m saying goodbye to the old me and welcoming the new Kelley with open arms, knowing I owe it all to my Baby Boy.