Today if you asked me about my grief I would hesitate a little, but after living this new normal for four plus years, I’d answer honestly. Because even though you might not understand right now, you will one day.
I’d tell you that today I am really okay. And that I’m okay with being okay.
Life has a way of ebbing and flowing. Dragging you along when you all you want to do is scream, or cry, or hide behind closed doors in your room. And somehow you arrive on this shore.
Of peace. And rest.
Where life is broken, so broken. And when you think on it too long, the questions drip like heavy rain drops on your conscience.
The why’s. The what if’s.
You silence them, because you know where that road leads…
And you enjoy the rest of today, because that’s all you can ever do after years of trying to make sense, and piece this puzzle together that is missing huge pieces to start with. You realize that now. That you’ve been trying to piece something together that was never meant to be ‘put together’. Just lived.
And you did. You more than lived. Your survived. And along the way you’ve found what works for you and what doesn’t. And you don’t even think about apologizing for it.
For Father’s Day two weekends ago, I debated on whether to include Jenna in the Family Hand Prints Frame I was making for Pete. First of all, I realized we never had her hand prints taken. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I remembered why we didn’t. But it didn’t sting any less.
After going back and forth, I decided that I needed to include her. No matter how uncomfortable others might be when they see it. If anything, I hope it doesn’t make them uncomfortable (though that cannot be avoided sometimes), but helps tear down the walls of awkward silence. I hope they can see her for the very real person she was, and the miracle that she was. Seeing her footprints right under her siblings’ hand prints sent an indescribable feeling over me. Every time I look at it, it is a picture of us together.
Franchesca Cox is the founder of Still Standing Magazine. She is currently seeking her Master’s in Occupational Therapy, a yogi and author of Celebrating Pregnancy Again and Facets of Grief, a creative workbook for grieving mothers. Learn more about her heartwork on her website.