I did something that I haven’t had the courage to do until now. I listened to the audio recording from Alex’s memorial service. It was about 53 minutes long. Surprisingly, it really wasn’t that hard to listen to.
There was a message from our priest, readings from the scriptures, beautiful music by a woman we had never met (sung slightly off-key), and there was the eulogy I spoke for my special little boy.
Parts of it brought tears to my eyes for sure, but the part that struck me most was the wisdom in the sermon and in the bible passages. In my grief-induced haze I don’t really remember anything from that day. In a clearer light, almost a year later, I can really take in the message that was being spoken. I can understand the words being said and they take on new meaning, when heard fresh.
My eulogy was filled with questions. Why did it happen, what were we supposed to learn, how would our family go on, what do we tell Benjamin? A year later I realize that I don’t have definitive answers to all those questions, but the uncertainty of it all no longer plagues me. I don’t go through life worrying about how I explain how many children I have. Sometimes, I just say 1. Sometimes, I say 2. Depends on my mood, depends on a lot of things.
What I know now, is that the answers are less important to me. When I stop trying to answer all the open questions in my mind, my head clears, and the things that are really important emerge. I don’t need to understand why Alex is in Heaven to enjoy and appreciate the family I have on earth.
I don’t need to have a perfect explanation for how many kids we have on Earth to know that I will always have special memories in my heart. It’s okay.
Molly will be here in less than 4 weeks. That’s great! I don’t need to wrestle with all the circumstances around Alex’s departure to be excited for her arrival.
The hour I spent listening to Alex’s memorial service was time well spent. It let me revisit the sadness of that time, but also reminded me of the progress we have made since then. I am not the same mother, wife, person I was when Alex died. Our family is not the same since he’s been gone. Regardless, I can appreciate who we are and how far we have come. The sadness of that day didn’t relegate us to a year of sadness to follow. We have lots of hope, love and life to share with our family and with others. I wouldn’t have believed that back then, but I see it clearly now.
I don’t have to have all the answers to have perspective on where we are, and to appreciate what we have.