Monday, January 5, 2015

Leaving 2014 Behind

A dear friend asked me this week how New Year's was for me. In truth, it wasn't easy. It isn't easy moving into a new year because this new year, 2015, is one in which Wendell won't be alive. He was alive and present in my life in 2014 and moving on from that year feels like moving on from him. I know I can't go back to when he was alive. I would if I could. Even so, it hurts to move forward.

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.

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