Only Way Out is Through

As I sit at my kitchen counter on Mother’s Day, the sun is shining through the fluffy clouds that float across the spring sky. I keep thinking of all the mothers in my life and especially those who have lost a child. It has taken me 8 years to at least get the concept of the title of this blog. It really has only been introduced to me in the last year and a half when I dedicated myself to my yoga practice. I don’t know that I would have been open to it before.

When I first lost Nick, I avoided feeling any pain. The first year I was numb, which really was my mind’s way of protecting my spirit, my heart. The second year was harder because tendrils of reality seeped back into my life, but I only let it in through cracks and crevasses, so that I wasn’t destroyed.

I have done and tried almost everything to ease the loss of missing my son, to not feel the full impact of that loss. Starting Nick’s Fight to be Healed Foundation was the biggest way to keep myself busy. Yes, I threw myself into the fire. After all why would someone who lost a child to cancer want to be surrounded by children with cancer? Why would I want to take the chance to open my heart just to have it broken again?

It has happened time and time again, but the joy of helping others softens the pain of losing Nick and I think I have been put in this path so that those who lose a child can be guided through the loss journey.

I am in no way an expert or feel that there is any one way to learn to live with your child in a new way. I have fallen and picked myself up countless times these past years. Just last week after we celebrated all we had done in 2015 with the foundation, I literally fell ill. For a week. So I slept and I dreamt. I allowed myself to miss my son.

Even since Monday, mothers have lost their children. It doesn’t have to be just from cancer either. There are all kinds of ways to lose your child. I thought, how do I tell these mothers to hold on when it doesn’t get better, it gets calmer and those moments of clarity pull you through.

At 1am last night my phone buzzed with a text. Stephen texted me Happy Mother’s Day. We always show and express our love. I am grateful for him.

Then I dreamt. I was in the house where I grew up that I call the Greenville House. As I come down the hall, a little boy with big brown eyes, long lashes, dark hair, and chubby cheeks wobbles toward me. Arms open dressed in a dark blue button suit and pants. His 1 year bday suit.

He exclaims, “I’m Nick! I’m Nick!” But it is the garbled voice of a baby learning to talk. I run to him and pick up my smiling boy and hold him close. He wants to go outside. So I put on his hat with a pom pom on top and has his name on it. I push his hair out of his eyes and kiss his cheek. I can feel the cool soft texture of his pink cheeks.

My boy wished me a Happy Mother’s Day in the way that he could. I woke up calm and let the feelings flow through me. Yes, it is freaking hard and it hurts. But the feeling went through and out and I felt all right with what is. Because of this, I experienced the love of both my boys. How blessed and thankful and I for that.

For all the mothers who have lost your child, no matter how or when, do what you have to do to get through the next moment and then day in your life. However works for you. Don’t apologize, don’t worry what others think. Don’t overthink it. Do what your heart and soul needs. Just don’t give up. Someday as you go through the pain, perhaps you will be able to be with what is. My wish to you is that your child visits you and shows you how to live with him/her in a new way.

Much love and peace your way today and always.

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