Day 19, “Music”
I live in a house full of musicians. Music is part of our lives. Around every corner. When people ask what I like to listen to, I just kind of chuckle. I listen to whatever my kids are into. Once in a blue moon, I like to crank up Carly Simon and sing when no one is listening.
So when my daughter said, “Mom, you need to hear this song. This guy lost his sister,” I listened.
And that is how this song became the song that gives me “all the feels”. It makes me cry, it makes me smile, it challenges me to live well.
“When I fall asleep I can see your face
What I lost in you I will not replace
And I could run away, I could let them down
And I know you’re gone but still I will remember your light
I will remember
And if you see me in the darkness
I hope you know I’m not alone
I carry you with every breath I take
I won’t let up, I won’t let up
Until the wind is gone.”
“Like a River Runs”
Jack Antonoff and John Hill
The little things are easy. Words that sting with unintended pain. Giving grace to well meaning people that just don’t know. Like an insect bite it stings, but I’m able to brush it off and forget about it.
I won’t lie and say it’s always easy. Sometime the pain goes deep when it comes to disappointment and hurt. But forgiveness is always the way my heart longs to go, even if it takes a little work.
Forgiving myself as been the hardest part of my journey. I’m a mother. I’m fiercely protective of those I love. There is a list of things I’ve had to forgive myself for, perhaps even more appropriately, lift the blame off my aching heart.
There are days I still have to remind myself that it’s not my fault, the would have, should have, could have’s would kill me if I didn’t.
And I deserve grace as much as anyone to whom I’ve ever extended grace. And maybe I need it even more.
No one deserves to walk through grief in chains.
Now that his physical body is gone, the sense of his spirit is very much the same.
We are finally nearing the time when we will re-create this space in a way that allows the unique sacredness to remain. We will slowly sort through his things, deciding what will stay visible, what will be safely stored, and what will be given where it can be used to help bring life.
No parents wants to face this part of the journey. And there is no right or wrong time to face it. We simply had to wait til we were ready.
So we will begin from thought to action, we will take the next steps to creating a sacred space in a room that was and always will be Mattie’s room.
Day 22, “Dreams and Rituals”
I’ve had one dream about my son. We were shopping in a toy store and he was free from all tubes and wires. He was scaling a rock wall and I called to him to come because I wanted to see if he fit in a certain chair. He leapt off the wall like superman and landed on all fours on top of a train table. When I finally caught him to fit him in the chair , he was too big. He ran off and the chair stuck to his bottom. He was laughing hysterically the whole time. He was too perfect and strong to be hindered anymore.
It’s the only time I have ever dreamed about him. I treasure this dream.
My real life dream is to walk through this journey with strength and freedom and to live a life reflecting the unstoppable spirit of Matthias Samuel Loux.
And our words remain.
And our hearts yearn to become a living love letter, a testimony of his love left here on earth, deep within each of us.
You are strong and kind and brave and good. You are perfect in every way. You are my very breath.
I would do it all again.
A million times.
Holding you forever and always.
I Love You to the Moon and Back,
Day 24 “Choose Your Breath”
Where am I?
I am at a place in this journey where hope and grief meet and learn to dance.
This intricate sculpture stands in the prayer garden at Children’s Mercy Hospital. I watched it gently spin yesterday, so stunned by the perfection and complication of it all. Every spoke in exactly the right place. Each piece of metal directly impacting the next, completely dependant on each other for motion and beauty. Without wind it would be stagnant and static, but the breathe of the earth brings it to life.
I am this sculpture. I am perfect and complicated. I am dependant on every facet of my nature, every part of my humanity dependant on the other for motion and beauty.
I am learning to move and breath with hope and grief perfectly connected. I grieve because I love. I have hope because I love. Because of love, I hope and I grieve.
There are days when hope leads the way and the breathe of life is stronger and swifter on my soul. There are days when grief needs space and the breathe of life slows to a steady inhale and exhale allowing me to still move, yet to rest in it. I’ve learned when to surrender to the gentle breath and when to breathe deeply and turn my face to the wind to press through. There are days I breathe with ease and days I fight hard to find it.
Grief and healing co-exist is this beautiful place, and I’m learning how very good it feels to stand with my face to the wind in inhale HOPE.
Day 25, “Earth Remembrance”
Today we are to share ways we have honored our child’s life through planting and growing.
For some reason this is the one area where I have had no energy. My backyard gardens are overgrown. What used to be a cute herb garden is now just overgrown with now almost dead mint. I didn’t plant a single flower or vegetable. I couldn’t do it. There was nothing in me.
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, when John suggested that in the spring maybe we should plant a garden, that the thought seemed like a good one.
All that to say, maybe in the spring. Maybe in the spring it will feel right to honor Mattie by planting a tree or tending a garden. Maybe in the spring our front yard won’t be void of a single growing thing.
Maybe in the spring something will rise out of the barrenness of grief compelling our hands to reach into the earth and plant seeds.