I want to start by acknowledging losing a child is the MOST painful thing I’ve ever gone through (and I’ve been through plenty of stuff). The first couple of years were a blur of simply putting one foot in front of the other to get through the day.
But somewhere in the years between Alison’s death and now I made a choice to do whatever the hell it took (and it was A LOT let me tell you!) to enjoy life again.
We come together as bereaved parents to support each other in the pain. We can validate the level of grief, soul sucking agony, and hurt that comes from bystanders’ thoughtless comments and actions for each other in a way no one else can. It is SO SO very necessary. It helps us know we aren’t alone. We aren’t crazy. This level of grief is real and legitimate.
But are we also willing to talk about enjoying life again? Can we share how life after death is possible, that there is hope? Can we talk about how our child’s life has inspired us to embrace things we otherwise might not have? Can we unabashedly, unapologeticaly live a full life and be open about it even as we acknowledge the dark, dark places we’ve been to get here?
Bottom line, is it acceptable to shine a light of hope and joy in the dark place of grief?