Grief is a journey. It’s not a road with a beginning and an end, but a maze of complicated landscapes and twisting paths. As you start to get your bearing, you are likely to look up and find yourself helplessly lost and wondering which way to go. Any progress you make is marred by the reminder that this journey will not end. This is a lifelong trek.
So many times on this journey I have wanted to collapse, exhausted from the rocky landscape, and just wait for someone to come along and guide me. I want direction; a map of what’s to come. So, you wait. You look down the road, straining to see if help is on the way. Eventually you realize, there is no escort. It’s just you and if you want to keep moving, you’ll have to find your own path.
It can be difficult to choose a path when you don’t want to be on the journey in the first place. If you’re traveling to an unwanted destination, do you really care how you get there? That was my struggle for so long. There have been many times in the last year, especially while pregnant with Frances, that I wanted to deny where I was going. After she was born, I wanted to travel through grief without purpose. I was tired of being the grieving mother and I wanted to pretend that I was just a regular mom. A mother whose heart didn’t beat with the dull ache of loss. But like every truth in your life, my story found me. I couldn’t bury it under a rock and leave it behind. My story is part of me, a constant companion in my travels, so I’ve decided it’s time to embrace it.
Right now, the path I’m choosing is one of service. I want to carry my story, our family story, with me as I connect with families like ours. I am choosing to commit my grief and love to words in the hopes that I reach others. I am taking a step back into the hospitals that I despise to make sure that there are comforts for others who will know my pain.
Make no mistake; I never wanted this. No one’s life ambition is to be an advocate for grief, loss, and the struggle to become a mother. When I dreamed about being a writer, I imagined lighthearted stories that would let me showcase my wit. However, when I stop to explore my surroundings, this is where I’ve found myself. And when I squint my eyes, and look ahead, I see light shining on my path.