“One more day. One more time. One more sunset maybe I’d be satisfied. But then again, I know what it would do, leave me wishing still for one more day with you.”
Those words sung by the band Diamond Rio meant a lot to me when my son was alive, and they mean even more so now after his death. It is a song that does not play often as it is a hit from 2000, but when I hear it I am instantly transported to my carefree summer of 2012, morning walks outside, cloud watching, and talking with my baby son under his favorite tree. Cullin would listen to me talk about the leaves, the bugs and birds, and the big lizard who lived there. I would stare into his eyes, as they had an amazing way of reflecting the world around him, and he would say “I love you, mama” without words.
Related Post: All the Ways I’ve Loved You
Almost ritualistically we would come inside, lay on his crocheted blanket, and watch a VHS tape of recorded Brainy Baby videos while I lathered him in his Burt’s Bees baby lotion and selected one of his most handsome and witty onesies. In the middle of his tape, the “One More Day” video interrupted and played those very words. It took me by surprise often because it was such an unexpected interruption.
Just two months after our one summer together, Cullin died suddenly.
It was the most unexpected interruption of my life. The half-year that we spent together left me with unending love, and grief leaves me longing for one more summer. One more walk. One more look at him. One more day.
Some days, it seems impossible to take one more step or face one more day, but even the hardest of days seem bearable compared to October 1, 2012. Almost six years later, the triggers of grief can still take my breath away, like when I hear one of his songs on the radio, firetruck #28 zooms by, or we mark another one of his special dates on the calendar. During these times I encourage myself to exhale grief, inhale hope, get creative, and push through one more day.
Make one more connection. Who do your bereaved besties follow, reference, and repost on social media? Visit a few new galleries, groups, or pages and follow those who inspire you to seek hope and healing. Look for the people who encourage you and connect with them online. Read about their child, their struggles, and their successes and then share about your child and story.
Related Link: Friendships from Loss: An Unexpected Bond
Take one more walk. Find solace and comfort in nature. Get up, get out, and get connected with the universe. Reconnect with yourself and reflect on your grief. Think about how far you have come and envision a special future for yourself. Keep taking one more step.
Sing one more song. Love, grief, and music are universal. Turn up some music and sing your blues away. Play some heavy metal when the anger leaves you feeling a bit rock-n-roll. Listen to some soulful tunes when your soul feels heavy. Sing your favorite song loudly with love and tune out the grief.
Reignite or begin one new passion. Are you able to see a spark of joy? If so, ignite it with a passion. Throw yourself into a hobby and combat the stifling effects of grief with a creative outlet. Try an activity that is completely out of your comfort zone. Invite someone to join you, or enjoy some time alone, but either way, find something that you love to do and do it. For yourself. For your child.
Spend one more day with family. Take a retreat from grief with your family and get away from your everyday routine. Spend a full day together and have an adventure. Enjoy one another but take the time for heavy conversation and expressions of grief. Ask, answer, and encourage the hard questions. Reconnect with your loved ones who also feel so disconnected by grief.
Make one more memory with friends. Take one more ride on that large inflatable unicorn raft, dance like everyone is watching, play one more game. Make dumb jokes and laugh until you cry. Cry one more time. And then another, and another, but remember to smile one more smile and make the most of your one more day.