A hard place and a snow globe
Recently I felt unsettled after sharing a poem about Lily’s 7th angelversary and reading all of your comments and reach outs of love. Your kind words and thoughtful sentiments were beautiful and touched me deeply.
When I feel uneasy about something I am learning not to rush my way to the ‘aha’ moment, but to get curious, sit with it, flesh it out with others, reflect and patiently await it – the patient part is still a work in progress! Can anyone relate?
Here is where I got to.
Sharing about our experience at the time of losing Lily now involves a ‘revisit’ rather than being there in it. I return to the stormy ocean to remember more authentically what this time was like, other aspects of it are etched deep within and require no refresh.
But it is different.
I choose to swim out past the breakers in the knowledge I can return to shore. I am no longer out there fighting my way to the surface for my next breath before the waves of grief push me back beneath. Now the stormy ocean helps me to recall more genuinely what it was like fighting to keep my head above the water.
When I write poems and open letters about Lily and especially her loss, I am revisiting a painful time, not within the painful time. I spoke with my sister-in-law about this recently and after discussing what I was rumbling with she remarked, ‘it sounds a bit like looking into a snow globe on that time in your life.’
And it is kind of like that. I am looking upon it rather than being within it. To write about it I can permeate the glass to relive the memory, to remember those moments, in the knowing I can step back outside of it.
What unsettled me was you, my friend of the hard things reading my poem and being under the impression that I am still in the stormy ocean, or still trapped within the snow globe.
Stuck in my suffering.
Stuck in the moment.
For you amid your own stormy ocean to read my words seven years on and feel a sense of hopelessness that you will never reach the shore again. To feel as if you will always be fighting to the surface for your next breath.
This is simply not true.
One of my greatest intentions when I write is to acknowledge the hard and honour the hope. I write to reach you in your hard place and inspire hope. To genuinely do so I must take you with me to the dark depths of my stormy ocean so my fight to the surface and slow swim to shore becomes the evidence that you can do it too.
This is not easy for me. I consistently fight the urge to share only the beauty within the ugly, only the gifts of facing adversity, to sugar coat it all, but this would not be authentic, realistic, nor a great way to reach and serve you in your hard place.
Does it still hurt? Yes.
It is painful to revisit these moments, the build up to her anniversary can be challenging, as can our day to day lives when we remember what we have lost. But I no longer suffer.
Rather the pain of missing her is a reminder of how much I loved, and do love.
Now I revisit, remember, and then get about honouring her as best I can. How do I do this?
By saving precious space for all the snow globe moments that have contributed to the beautiful life I lead, while looking forward to those still to come – by living my life to it’s fullest.