Six Months

As time has gone on and we’ve gotten closer to the six months from the day Michelle was taken away from us I’ve been thinking a lot about her and about everything. I just started writing to no one in particular and It sort of became what I’ve written below.    -Clay

There is something about round numbers that leads us to believe something magical is about to happen. As if grief has a calendar  and is just waiting for the page to turn before moving on to someone else. I don’t think it works this way but these “anniversary” events give us a good reason to pause and look both ways.

Have I gotten better? Am I doing OK? Are the girls and my Mom OK? That seems to be the question on every ones mind. What about the rest of us? Close friends who I know are still hurting deeply. Relatives who are grieving alone yet don’t have any idea who or how to reach out. How are they doing? What are our expectations after six months time?

“Time heals all wounds” right? This is not only wrong it is deceiving. All time does is keep moving forward. The pages on the calendar will turn no matter how we feel about it. I think it would be better to say “All wounds need time to heal.” It is our own behavior that decides the healing process.

How am I doing? I’m not sure what is normal anymore but there are many things I can do now that were not possible before. I can look at a picture of Michelle and smile instead of cry. I can tell Sophie stories of her Mommy that make me laugh and have only a hint of the sadness that is still just under the surface. I still have my moments, but the good always has and always will outweigh the bad.

I have tried to look forward and keep the focus on raising and providing for our girls and honoring Michelle’s memory by keeping her spirit of joy and warmth in our home. I’m working hard to strip down the unnecessary distractions and hone in on the relationships with family and friends that define who we are.

As for the girls, Amelia is young and unfortunately will only have pictures to remember her Mother. Sophie is strong and loving. We talk about Mommy when she wants to. I answer her questions if I can and just hold her when those answers aren’t good enough. My Mom has her own struggles but like me takes comfort in being a part of the girls daily life.

I’m very lucky in that not only is my mother a big help with the girls but a wonderful nanny has entered our lives. Ms. Bethany has given the girls stability and unconditional love. She is a wonderful human being who can go toe-to-toe with any four year old and make it look easy.

So I guess the answer to the question is yes, we will be OK. Together we will bumble our way through as we discover this new life. Just like most families do every day.

On a regular basis I read and ponder the poem by David Harkins.

“You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back

Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”