I would be lying if I said everything was fine, but I would also be lying if I said our world was still as crappy as it was three years ago. If I saw you in the store today and you asked me how I was doing. I would say 'oh you know, we are hanging in there.' which is true... and my way of saying we are not ok, we are not fine, but we are surviving, we are moving through this. I could tell you all about what my grief looks like now... which is a mix of sadness, anger, frustration, discontentment, forgetfulness, and determination not to let the darkness consume me.
In my mom's group the other night we were discussing the book 1000 Gifts and the author talks about the 'ugly beautiful' and a 'holy mess'... that stuck with me. I think I am at a point in this journey where I can start to see the beauty that has come out of the most ugly moment ever.... good things have happened since... even in that moment God's beauty was there. Declan was surrounded by EVERY ONE of his family members. All of his aunts and uncles. Both sets of grandparents, his sister and brother... that is beautiful. The nurses and doctors we encountered... they were beautiful angels placed in our lives at the exact moment we needed them most. The outpouring of love, support, prayers, kindness... that was beautiful! This mess we found ourselves in, although not part of God's plan, was a "holy mess". God did not abandon us in our darkest hour... He blessed us as much as the situation allowed. His loving hands were wrapped tightly around us and held us through our worst nightmare. As we have traveled this journey, often dragging our feet and wanting to cross our arms in refusal, I have seen beauty rise out of our ashes. Good things have happened... I believe Declan's memory has touched many people, has helped many people and my endless hope is that he will continue to change people's lives. When you are living in the ugly moments, look for the beauty. It's there... sometimes hard to see, but always there.
Many people continue to say "you are so strong"... I would argue that we are all strong, you just don't know it until you have no other options. As a grieving mother, my only goal is make sure that Declan isn't forgotten, that his life have meaning, that his memory is honored and that in some small way, we are touching the hearts of others. If/when that stops... I will not be strong. I will be a weeping mess. That would be the ultimate hurt. A moment when living no longer seems acceptable. To say I am strong is wrong... I just can't let his short life not have significant meaning. He has changed my life... I am so thankful to be his mama.
Declan lies within me and within so many people. His spirit is anything but small. With God's (and Dex's) support, we will continue to walk this journey. We will continue to hurt and cry and get mad, but it always comes back to recognizing the beautiful in the ugly. It's about choosing JOY instead of allowing darkness to win.
This journey... wow. It has been hard, there have been moments when it would have been easier to give up, to lay down and pray for God to take my life. Even now, three years later, I struggle. This particular song is one that I often listen to and pray that God helps me find my way... that God guides me on my journey in such a way that I am living His will. We have come so far, and we have a life time of this journey left.
Loving you and missing you with all of my heart and soul Declan! You are NEVER, EVER forgotten.