Years ago, when we still had satellite, I enjoyed watching home improvement shows. The before and after of remodels were always amazing to me. Before pictures, even if decent, seemed drab and faded compared to the shiny and new after.
Weight loss or makeover photos show an even greater transformation. The before photo always captures the person frowning or in a similar unhappy emotion, while the after is filled with joy and excitement. One looking at before and after photos, often wishes for such a change.
How opposite that is with child loss. You live very much in the before, after burying your child. Hours can be spent thinking of how life used to be…before. And life after often seems drab and faded compared to what it was.
Before child loss, I believed in happily ever after.
Before, I worried about my children, but never had a panic attack thinking about their safety.
Before, I yelled at my kids, never imagining I’d someday replay every “bad mom moment” and wish I could go back to erase them.
Before, I didn’t helicopter parent, second guess every decision, and over protect.
Before, I didn’t live with chronic pain and fatigue.
Before, I never knew what it was like to feel sadness every single day.
Before, I didn’t realize you could be strong yet crumble in tears.
Before, I was able to sleep when my children weren’t home.
Before, I didn’t know you could be awake and still have nightmares.
Before, my faith was never shaken yet strengthened at the same time.
Before, I never thought much about Heaven or noticed glimpses of it on earth.
Before, I didn’t fully treasure the every day moments because I never imagined they might someday be only memories.
In 2008, my world as I knew it changed forever, with the sudden loss of our 14-year-old son, Austin. The journey to my blog (and attitude toward life) was bumpy and tearful, beginning at a memorial blog for my son. I later chose to take another path, challenging myself to find the JOY in every day, despite the sadness I still felt. I love and miss him daily but I’m living my life to honor him – and celebrating every moment it brings. My goal…to find and share the joy in every day. You can find me at Joyful Challenge