Tomorrow marks 6 years since Alex died. Six years ago I put my sweet baby down for a nap, and a few hours later I was doing CPR, frantically calling 911.
Six years ago I was desperately wondering… If we would ever have more kids. If Benjamin would be an only child. If I could ever forgive myself. If I could ever forget the awful experience. If I would ever sleep soundly again. If I could imagine going back to work. If life would ever get back to normal. If I would ever feel joy again.
Time moves on. Life goes on. Hearts heal. Minds forget. God forgives.
I divide my life into two stages: before Alex died and after Alex died. Before Alex died, I don’t think I fully appreciated all the blessings we had in life. I loved our life, but I don’t think I truly cherished experiences and people the way I should have.
After Alex died, I went through a long stage where I was numb. I didn’t feel anything. There was no sound, no color. I felt like I saw the world in black and white and I heard everything around me as if I were underwater. Everything was muted and my role in life was passive and distant.
But time does heal. Colors came into focus. Sounds got louder. Pain came back. Joy surfaced in unexpected places.
I like to find meaning in things. I like to contemplate why things happen, and I like to understand how the world fits together. Our life is not a linear path with a singular destination. It is a series of detours and wrong turns. I hate that. I want things to be clean and tidy, without surprise. Getting us to the best possible destination with the most optimized route.
I like to think that these anniversaries with Alex mean something. Something worthwhile, something significant, something more than just a date on the calendar. When I pull back the layers though, there is nothing new under the sun.
While the event hasn’t changed, the perspective I bring to it has. I see the beauty in the time we had with Alex. I admire the resilience our family had going on with life. I appreciate how blessed we are to have our three beautiful children all arguing in the backseat. Yes, even our two year old finds a way to argue with her sister.
There is joy in life. There is peace in my heart. This time of year is painful, but I take solace in that there is another year of love and laughter in our future.
Sending you love and hugs my sweet boy- now and forever.