After we lost Ayden, I didn't think I would ever smile again. I didn't want to smile, laugh, enjoy the things I used to enjoy. For the longest time, I did everything outside of our old routines because I didn't want anything to feel comfortable. I had to feel the pain and the grief to feel alive....because it was the only thing I could feel. I had a difficult time with worship when we went to church because the words to the songs would just cut so deep....and I take worship seriously...if you don't mean the words, don't sing them. And it wasn't that I didn't mean them....it was just hard to find out where I stood with it all. The same God I was singing to and praising was the One who allowed my son to pass away....the One who allowed us to face such tragedy...the One who knew this would be my life before I was even thought of. It's a lot to process, so it took some time for me to come back into "normal" - whatever that is. I guess you create a new normal and life just pulls you along with it. And that's where we are now....moving along...living in the new normal but perfectly aware that our "normal" is not typical.
Pieces of the old Lindsay still come out....more with each passing day. I smile, laugh, and worship (still through tears a lot of the time....) and have come to a good place...a good balance. Time and patience and just letting God work on me brought me further than I ever thought I'd come. And a little boy named Collen...he gets a lot of the credit, too. Grief is still very much a part of my life. Ayden is a part of everything we do....he is always with us. The love and connection I share with him is still so real and alive....and it grows stronger every day.
Normal is no longer possible when you've experienced such a loss. For the first year, I walked around lost....feeling like I'd never feel like I fit anywhere again. Life has a way of pulling you along whether you like it or not, and as time passes, you develop new routines and new ways of making it through the day. I still deal with a lot of fear....especially when it comes to Collen. I am terrified of losing him. And it's hard not to bargain with God...to plead for Him to protect Collen even if it isn't His plan. But I know I can't do that. I know that I have to accept God's plan as His will. It's beyond my understanding, and it is not for me to question. Where we are now is where God wants us to be. Now, I may not always like that, but again....it's not in my control. And I'm at peace with that.....most of the time. It's still a work in progress....always will be I guess.
I didn't plan to share all of this. I actually came here to share some of Collen's quirks with you, but this just sort of spilled out. Check in to my next post for the intended information. :)
I pray that those of you who are experience loss and tragedy will be gentle with yourselves. There is no magic button that fixes it all. It takes time, and time can not heal this wound. It will be with us forever. But you find a way to live with it....you find a way to keep moving. Let yourself grieve. Deal with how you and your beliefs have been affected. Cling to hope, and seek peace. It's hard. It will leave you feeling beaten. You'll experience plenty of "one step forward, two steps back" moments. You have to let yourself go through the process and find your balance. And your "normal" is just that - yours. Hold on.....just hold on.