A New Year: Life After Loss
For some, a new year brings a sigh of relief. This day, New Year's Day brings opportunities, and the silent sign of new beginnings. This day clears the slate. You have a reset to go after the dreams you seek. Dreams can be discovered and come true. But, what is it like for those who have loved and lost? For those waiting, wishing and needing their dreams to come true?
This morning I woke, holding my breath slightly. What will this year bring? Part of me is nervous...but a part of me is also fearless. 2017 was a year of personal self discovery for me. As I reflect, I have overcome challenges and risen a little higher because of those moments. And on this day I decided what better day to discuss those challenges than today.
First and foremost, I struggled in 2017 with the loss of Avery. I began last year with the creation of Avery's Grief Journal as a way to cope with my loss and to help others in the process. As the months ticked away, I continued to draw and fill my time with publishing coloring books...but the day was still approaching. Avery's first birthday and also the same day my brother was getting married. Anxiety built week after week until May when I simply couldn't handle my grief any longer. I spiralled down into a deep depression caused from PTSD, depression, anxiety and addictions... and I bottomed out. Those were some of the darkest days of my life. Aside from the day Avery died, this was my rock bottom. And, I was no longer me. For weeks and months that followed I fought for the light. Kicking and screaming through a lot of it. I sought out help from others and continued to work on myself. And in the end, made it through.
Creative Grief Channelling
In 2017, a big part of my saving grace was my realization that creative grief was a perfect pairing for my broken heart. Yes, the grief journal was a distraction, but a healthy one. And I Iove my journal because it is filled with more love than I ever knew possible. Each page starts with the stories from Mothers who are just like me. Loving after loss and wanting preservation and celebration of a life that was too short. It's in the pages of my journal and coloring books that I realized how honoring angels was getting me closer to my personal dream of Avery's Tree House. It was my fuel to take me through grief and onto better feelings. Feelings of opportunity, of hope.
2018...another year in loss
As 2018 arrives, I welcome another year of struggling to conceive. I don't talk about this part of my loss because it is painful and there are many factors that are still triggers for me. But the fact is...after 18 months, I have still not been given a second chance. Maybe in some way it can be rationized as me not being in the right place yet. Maybe more work is still to be done. I don't know. But I pray that 2018 will give me a chance towards a family. And that the doors are opened for me to understand why it took so long. Secondary loss with infertility is a dangerous tightrope, but I hold my faith tightly that I will understand as my purpose grows.
So, what does 2018 look like for me? Well...let's take a look.
- File my Not For Profit paperwork.
- Begin the process for my 503C.
- Start more campaigns to raise money for the tree house.
- Travel and continue my photography.
- Published Volume V in Avery's Garden Coloring Books and at least 2 more by year end.
- Publish the entire 1st Grief Journal compilation.
- Take care of myself more including eating better, losing weight and finally getting pregnant.
- Continuing to support others in grief.
Welcome 2018. It's a new day.