I shut the world out.
Drew the curtains, cut off the phone, curled up under the covers and slept.
The tears fell, and fell, and fell as my body ached, my heart ached, my mind ached.
There was something compelling about both wanting to feel pain so I could feel SOMETHING but also longing for the pain to end.
The weeks after loss are some of the hardest I endured. They’ll likely be your most difficult too.
The tears will surprise you as they fall in the most inconvenient places and times.
The rage will sneak in when you least expect it.
You’ll be confused, angry, sad, jealous, anxious, fearful. You’ll resent the world as it slams you back into the workforce a week after birthing and losing your pride and joy. Your heart will sink as the conversation round the internet, the break room, and your next girls night out turns to children and how amazing they are.
You’ll hate everyone.
You’ll hermit, hide, and sink into solitude.
While equally longing for connection.
The quiet kind that slips in from the side and offers you a meal, a hug, or a story of understanding.
Connection is the key to re-entry. It will unlock the door to hope and healing after loss. And it may not appear in the way you’d expect.
Where can you go to seek deep meaningful connection when hiding feels safer, softer, and most comfortable?
I found it behind the lens of my camera.
The camera gave me a barrier, a wall to put up between me in the world — while also offering a different and sometime beautiful perspective.
A few days after our loss, when I was tired from crying so many tears, when I was tired from staying awake at night thinking about what I had done wrong, when I was tired from laying like a sloth all day on the couch — I finally decided to get up, grab my camera, and take 100 steps from my front door.
I told myself that was all I had to take.
When my feet carried me that far I stopped, searched for one little bit of beauty in my surroundings, and snapped a photo.
Sometimes those 100 steps took me to the mundane and boring. Other days the light was so perfect that I felt like my daughter must be there walking with me. Each day taught me something and gave me the courage to step back out into the world.
Today I challenge you to get up and take 100 steps.
Take a photo.
Hashtag #100stepsproject and share where they take you.
It’s my hope that those 100 steps will serve a reminder that your life is still there and it’s waiting for you to re-connect with it.
I’m Beryl. Mom to 2 (one angel and one here on earth). Photographer. Teacher. And creator of the completely free 4 Week Illuminate Photo Course for loss families. I’m an old soul who is most content sipping lattés and connecting with friends new and old. A former teacher, I’ve swapped days of showing Kindergarteners how to read and write for weekends and evenings of showing families how to find healing behind the lens. Sign up for Illuminate today and let’s heal together, shall we?