I am choosing to share with the Still Standing community that this week is the decade anniversary of the loss of my son. Thank you for listening and thank you for understanding. The last decade has brought great tragedy and also joy.
I am not going to tell people in my life about this upcoming anniversary. I don’t know why I won’t, but it feels better to just put it down where I can be assured that those reading understand. The myriad of emotions can give one whiplash and standing in the middle of time and experience, I often feel lost and conflicted.
My lost son gave me my voice.
I have lost many friends.
I have discovered others.
There is a physical place I go every year. It is a New England marsh and there I walk with my living children. All along the edges of the water of the carcasses of horse shoes and I think that these are strangely beautiful. They feel prehistoric and still like evidence of having once exited. I like the physical nature of them and I even like their apparent ugliness. Because where some see ugly (like, for example my daughter, who runs screeching as her older brother picks it up and dangles it in front of her) I see sturdiness and time.
Since my son died, ten years ago this week, I see fewer physical manifestations of him. But there is evidence just the same. Or that is to say I see the ghost of myself in certain ways. Or some combination of ourselves together. In my home, I remember who I once was and I consider that I was once childlike. In a nice way.
I am lonelier now than I was. But I have gotten to be okay with that new way. Whereas, I was once upon a time, quite sociable, I am less so now. I used never to avoid people but now I seized by sudden seizures of otherness or shyness. It was not my nature before but now it is more.
The last time I was at my marsh, I climbed over all the ancient rocks. It was an overcast and there was no one around.
I was alone.
I could see both stillness and motion.
I could see both beauty and devastation.
I felt like if I picked up a shell and put it to my ear that I would hear not the ocean, but the sounds of the lost. The children, my friends.
And still. I am whole in a hard won way.
I have bled and I am scarred – and in those scars are the remembrance and the healing.
I have struggled to my feet.
I am grateful for every ounce of my life.
I am. Still Standing.
I’m small, but scrappy! I have a fierce passion for my family, friends and life in general…I’m a military spouse who has battled infertility for over 13 years, as well as the loss of two babies gone too soon. I love to laugh, and am grateful for every second I celebrate with the ones I love. You can find me at my blog Lori Does Maryland or on Facebook Lori Mullins Ennis or on The Twitter here Lori M. Ennis