I could literally go and set up a yurt in the mountains of New Mexico and stay there forever.
I doubt that any person in my life would call that crazy.
What else are you supposed to do when you lose your daughter?
In this last year of grieving my daughter, I have met all kinds of people: people in different phases of grief, people who have chosen to settle on a path of growth and healing and not.
Just as there is no guidebook on how to live your life, there is also no guidebook on how to grieve a life.
You create your own rituals, your own habits, and your own ways of being. In my experience, so far, they have been extreme. I have never been a middle-of-the-road type of person, so I have either completely isolated myself or I have experienced phases of mania that have had me writing a novel, while loading the dishwasher, and grocery shopping online, all at the same time.
I have written about this before—the middle of the road. The place where I connect myself to my intentions and allow myself to experience joy, whether I either create it myself or am presented with an opportunity to do so.
Rising up to experience joy and to not feel guilty about it. My daughter does not want me to feel guilty. She would be upset with me for even thinking this way.
My daughter wants me to experience joy because when I experience joy, she will also experience joy. She will share in the experiences of my life; but in order to make that happen, I have to have experiences. Experiences will not happen from under the covers in my bed.
Like, I have to go make sh*t happen. Fortunately, I am great at this.
This pain—that is now a part of my body and mind—is in the fibers of my very being that will continue to connect to make me whole again.
I never thought I would say that: the experience of this pain will make me whole again. Let me say it again for the people in the back of the room: this pain will make me whole again.
Your pain will make you whole again—if you don’t waste it.
This pain is not a pain to be wasted. My pain will be transformed into something (to be determined) that will, in its own right, be something miraculous and carry on as proof of life.
Some days may still look like I can’t get out of bed, but I am hopeful for the days where I am productive, being of service to others, and using this pain as the energy and fuel I need to not only live whatever is left of my own life in a beautiful way but also raising my wonderful son into a man and honoring her remarkable legacy—every step of the way.
So, while a yurt in the mountains of New Mexico sounds like a good place to hide, where the pain won’t hurt as much, I don’t want to hide.
I want to be whole again.