~ Author Unknown ~
I was told the “first year” would be the hardest. I set my sights on surviving through the first anniversary of my son Ross’s death, telling myself that it would be all downhill from there. If I could just keep going long enough to scale that summit!
Everyone talked about the “path of grief” being full of ups and downs, hills and valleys.“You can’t go around it, over it or under it, you simply HAVE to go through it!”
I was also told that my husband and I would not walk the same path. We started out fine, trudging through the woods, holding hands, telling ourselves that we’d spent 16 years together, we’d be just fine. His path slowly led away from mine, but seemed to run parallel for a time – I’d catch a glimpse of him in the woods every once in a while.
Then came that fateful First Anniversary. I scaled that mountain! I sat there all alone with my pile of Mickey Mouse clothes, little cars and well-meaning friends. I had done it! It was incredibly hard work, insurmountable at times, but here I was still alive, without my child.
Without my child. I felt my heart grow cold as I surveyed the path ahead – the rest of my life. The terrain was just as treacherous as the past 12 months! I guess I expected it to be sunlit fields of flowers from then on. After all, everyone had said, “Just get through that first year.” I didn’t know I had to do this forever!
I sat on that peak for quite some time. I yelled at God for a while, I hugged all my son’s treasures that I’d carried with me, his precious memory warming my cold heart, and I searched for any other movement in the valley below. In the distance I could see other peaks along my path, some perhaps as tall as the one upon which I sat. I also began to see tiny clearing where the sun was shining. As my tears slowed, I noticed other paths winding through the landscape – hundreds of them – each belonging to a different parent.
I carefully packed my treasures in my heart, storing them with care so none would break, and started running down the hill, headlong into the second year of forever.