I've got friends who had hard things, very hard things and great losses, happen in 2014. And some of them have said "good riddance" to 2014. And I understand that. But to me, 2014 was a precious year. The year my son was alive in my womb for seven months. The year I met him and saw his precious face and held him close. The year I said goodbye to him and saw his body buried in a little plastic box under about two feet of soil.
Wendell will always be a part of me, yes, a part of my life. He's in my heart forever. But he won't be a living part of my life for any year other than 2014. That's tough. It feels like one more layer of separation between me and him. As much as I want to move on, to be happy, and know that I honor Wendell's life and death in that way, I hate to feel I'm leaving him behind.
The same dear friend who read the words I texted her reminded me of what I said after having to leave Wendell's body with the nurses in the hospital -- that when I was pregnant, looking forward to being Wendell's mother, I never thought I would leave my baby. I never should have had to leave him. And the passing of time hurts in a similar way. I have to move on because I have no choice, in the same way that I had no choice but to leave his tiny body in the arms of the labor and delivery nurse at the hospital. I move on because it's what I have to do and I do it simply by doing it. That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, though, and that I don't miss Wendell awfully.
With that said, I look back on 2014 and am grateful for it all -- the joy, the pain, the deepening appreciation for what I have and what I have lost. I am a better person because of the life of my small son. Last year is one I'll treasure always and as I move forward into this new year I have faith that it will be filled with beauty and tears of both joy and sadness. I welcome it all.