My whole life I avoided conflict like the plague. I learned early on that even if something wasn’t my fault, I could take responsibility and apologize and everyone could move forward without fighting. I learned to brush things under the rug and move forward, even if I had been the one that got hurt. I stopped expecting apologies and become a pro at giving them. I could ignore things, painful and hurtful things and move on because it was easier than facing an argument I thought in my heart I could never win. What I did not realize was that this behavior could create unstable relationships and could even hurt those that meant the most to me. Ryann changed all of that, she changed everything. I could never sweep her under the rug and forget about her; just those words make me sick to my stomach. I could not just take responsibility and move forward; there was no one to apologize to and I knew that if I blamed myself I would fall apart. Everything became more crisp and clear yet painful, like on a really cold day when the air is dry and everything looks so serene and perfect yet just breathing becomes painful and every part of your body goes numb.
Things I had ignored in the past began to take center stage in my mind and in my heart and I felt like a rug had been pulled out from under my feet and I was falling and falling with no end in sight. I was torn between trying to go back to the person I was before and accepting the person I had become since my daughter’s death. I never accepted that my past behaviors could have been hurting anyone but myself, but I was ignoring the truth once again. My heart breaks to think of the times I ignored my own husband’s feelings in order to avoid arguments and smooth things over with others. I have now come to realize that sometimes it takes life kicking you right square in the heart and breaking you to pieces in order for you to pick those pieces up and reorganize them so that they finally make sense. I have gone through a major reorganization since our daughter passed away and although it has been messy, I feel I am beginning to accept and embrace the person my daughter has allowed me to become. I feel stronger and more determined to live in a way that brings me (and my family) some sense of peace and happiness even in the wake of our loss. I have realized life is too short to avoid things. You have to face the facts and the hard truths if you ever want to find healing or peace within yourself. Life is messy and unpredictable and sometimes feels downright unfair but that’s how life is and although we can try for our entire lives to ignore it, that is no way to live.
We have to accept that we are messy people living in a messy world and we are all searching within ourselves for acceptance and peace. For many, the road to peace is a lifelong journey and for others, the journey never really even begins. You have to chose to seek it out and sometimes it means searching within yourself and making changes that may not be so easy. Life can be painful and beautiful at the same time but we ultimately make the choice on how to live our lives and on what we hold dear and close to our hearts. I am blessed with an amazing, wonderful husband and best friend who has been my rock and support through the hardest thing I have ever had to go through in my life and I have become a stronger person thanks to my daughter and thanks to him. I have heard that becoming a mother makes you stronger and you become even more protective of your family. I may not have my daughter here in my arms but I carry her in spirit and I know that I am stronger for it. My road ahead will not be an easy one and I accept that I am not perfect, but I embrace the mantra that I am indeed a beautiful mess and a strong mama, and I intend to move forward with my head held high and the memory of my daughter held firm in my heart.
Peace, Be Well.