Guest Post by Jessica
I had resisted YMCA, the Hustle and the Macarena. And then The Chicken Dance began, my husband and I locked this-is-insane glances and jumped up to flap our arms.
We laughed as we flapped and clapped and shook our butts and I smiled. True, cheek-aching, smiles.
I had practiced this for so long, not The Chicken Dance but the dance of attempting happiness, pushing back grief, swallowing guilt and just being without a second thought.
Four years into our journey and I did it. I sat down when that cheesy music stopped and I had to swallow back tears. But not tears of guilt or sadness…
Tears of I’m surviving.
Tears of this-is-what-living-is-like.
And tears of she’s-smiling-down.
Because I know, with every fiber of my broken heart, my daughter is watching over our family. I know there is nothing more she would want than a mom who’s not afraid to laugh and a dad that can still dance.
I remember the early days of grief so raw that living the life that stretched before me without my daughter seemed unfathomable. I connected with moms who are in the place I am in now, years away from the day they said goodbye, and still could not imagine ever reaching the place they had arrived at… one of putting one foot in front of the other without giving it a second thought.
At some point, along this journey I finally understood that moving forward did not mean I was leaving my daughter behind.
I will forever remember her with tears but have learned that it is through laughter that I truly honor her.