When I started out on this journey, just over 17 years ago, I understood that at some point it would come to an end the moment Sophia took her last breathe. I was focused on ‘living’ grief through every moment I had Sophia next to me. With each loss, the grief dug deeper and deeper, and my fear had me crawling on my hands and knees to the edge not wanting to look over; down into what I thought was a crevice I’d never be able to pull myself out of.
Sixteen and a half years with Sophia did NOT prepare me for living after she was gone, is gone. Living grief has taken on a whole new meaning, a whole new version of profound loss that no matter how long we have our children here for, can never prepare you for when they pass away.
I thought that like B.C and A.D, there would be a ‘before’ and ‘after’ for living grief. I was wrong. Living grief, with all its ups and downs, is perpetual. There is no before or after Sophia. Sophia ‘is’…and my life with her ‘is’.
Living grief is no different. It ‘is’. The profound journey of ongoing loss doesn’t end. It shifts, but it doesn’t and hasn’t ended.
Each day that passes without Sophia is its own milestone. I got through the first month, the celebration of her life, the first Easter, Mother’s Day, and my first birthday without her home made card or her arms hugging me tight. Then came her birthday…it ‘would have’ becoming a new term in my vocabulary.
Most days I don’t recognize my life. I’m in a new home, I’ve a new job, my world is smaller but so much bigger. The boys are off on their own, beginning their own wondrous life.
And then there are the days I feel I can’t possibly go on…my body literally hurts from the pain of losing one of the most extraordinary little humans I have ever had the privilege of loving. There are some people who just don’t understand the enormity of what it is to lose your child. They are ignorant, naïve and lack the sense of compassion that embodies what bereft parents like me need, regardless of how much time has passed.
Amid it all denial still remains the sweet spot. I see her every day, I feel her around me with each beating of my heart; a song, a sound…and she is right here next to me.
Living grief…the profound journey of ongoing loss continues…
Beverley Pomeroy is an awarded and highly sought after Community Engagement Strategist, Speaker, Author of Living Grief; The Profound Journey of Ongoing Loss. Beverley’s community service began with a fifteen year career in private health care working for MDS Inc (LifeLabs). This community health care role developed her acumen not only for serving people in need, but also her strength in business management and organizational renewal.