Child loss is one of the greatest fears for most everyone. It certainly was for me.
As I study this fear, I am puzzled by a remnant that stays with me. A remnant that leaves me absolutely fearless one moment, after all, the worst thing that could ever happen, already did, and then the next moment leaves me terrified of the very thing that I just had the courage to do like one minute ago! My fear comes along and eats my bravery right up.
The fear of losing my son, losing Matthew, it happened. I lost him. That same fear, while it empowers me to do so much can also can send me right back to the corner. Some moments I have enough courage to stand up to the fear and some moments I simply do not.
The most courageous things I have ever done have all been produced by fear within me. The fear of losing my son again!
That may sound crazy, but it is so true.
I write so he is not forgotten. I speak so his voice will be heard.
I couldn’t protect Matthew from his death but I can surely protect his memory and will spend my life doing so.
If I do not write, his name will not be known. If I do not speak, his voice will not be heard.
The fear of doing both of those things is so great but the fear of not doing them is greater.
It takes a lot of courage to speak or write about the most tender and sacred moments of life, of loss and to put yourself in such a vulnerable place for the world to see. But being vulnerable and open with your heart, the real stuff, can be really empowering, and can offer a sense of freedom, perhaps even give an ah-ha moment, if you will. I learned that the hard way. I had to let go of my pride with telling the world I was "okay" and just be real, sometimes that involved me screaming "I am not okay!" Being real gave me that freedom. The freedom to grieve (MISS MY SON) in every aspect of my life. That freedom is priceless. And valuable to me.
So this is what I do.
This. This is what I have left of my son and these are the moments I have to trade my fears in for heaping doses of courage. Courage to share my son, his story, his life, his death and how living without him is the greatest challenge of all and the courage to share my physical struggles that losing him left me with. (Insert me swallowing my pride every time I do that.)
It isn’t pretty and sometimes it involves massive amounts of mascara dripping down my cheeks, but it is real. It is real life without my son. And it’s hard.
Two fears are surfacing right now, leaving me with the following options, delete or enter.
I’m betting on the latter one.
PS- to keep it real, sometimes I just use the "save" option and when I have the courage to hit enter, I do!