Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Inbetween

All my life, I've been inbetween. I was born eight years after my older sisters and eight years before my little brother. I remember always feeling too mature to hang out with kids my own age and too young to be accepted into the fascinating world of my older sisters. My childhood was only a foreshadowing of what was to come. Now that I have lost a child, I realize that I will always be sandwiched somewhere between sorrow and rejoicing, between despair and hope. You never really "get over" the loss of a child. Things just change. You develop a new "normal." You have good days and you have bad days. They come in waves. You go for weeks, months, even years thinking you have dealt with the loss, and then that pain somehow creeps back into your heart like a nagging sickness that just won't abate. Time does seem to dull the pain, but it is always there. It's what you do with that pain that matters. You can let it fester, slowly eating you away from the inside like a cancer or you can let the pain become your strength, waves of motivation ushering you to shore. On that journey toward healing, you can throw life vests to others you find along the way. That's what I hope to do with my pain. It has been five years since I lost Cohen, and while I would never want to go through that experience again, I can now see the good in it. Losing Cohen made me better. A better mother, a better wife, a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend. His little life was not lived in vain. I am forever changed, and I will always choose gratefulness, albeit juxtaposed with the pain.