Since my son died almost 15 months ago, I’ve been on a journey. I didn’t choose this journey. It began because the Life Path I was on came to an abrupt halt, forcing me to abandon everything familiar and comfortable and find a new route. A solo route, of sorts.
You see, my son was my constant companion, the surest compass I’ve ever known. His life and everything surrounding it may have been full of chaos and unanswered questions, but I was never surer of my purpose as a human being than when I was caring for my beautiful boy. Every day I was needed and my energy and efforts were specific and direct. I was caring for my child, in essence keeping him alive. He could not survive without my constant care, and I was blessed beyond measure to be able to provide that for him as long as I did. Every morning he awoke to face another day was a humbling experience for me, his mother. He was leading me through this life, silently guiding me without ever saying a word. He needed me, yes. But oh, how I needed him!
The moment he slipped away, although still in my arms, I could feel the change. My whole world shifted in that moment. The clarity and sureness of my soul’s purpose suddenly became clouded, like a dense fog slowly rolling in, making it nearly impossible to see.
I don’t know what to do now, where to go from here….where am I going? How am I supposed to get there? How will I find my way? I don’t even know where I’m going…..what if I don’t want to go?? I walked out the doors of the hospital without my son and my new journey began. But I had just been stripped of my compass! What was I supposed to do?
It felt as if someone had blindfolded me, spun me around in circles and then shoved me out the door and said, “there’s Life….go and live it. Good luck, you’re on your own!”
So now I’m here. I’ve been on a trek…this journey that was forced upon me, I’ve been trying to figure it out, to find my way. It took me several months to even gather the courage to open my eyes and attempt to peek through the fog. The air is so thick it sometimes still threatens to suffocate me. I’m trying to adjust to so many changes… it’s been hard.
I’m not lost. No, I know exactly where I came from and how I got here. The roads that led me to where I am today have been well-traveled and paved with more Love and Beauty than I know how to describe. But Pain and Anguish were always traveling not too far behind me. I knew they were there, could see their reflection in the rear-view mirror.
As time went on I could feel the gap closing, the distance getting shorter and shorter between us. I tried to speed up, oh how I tried to lose them! But like a car running on empty, it wasn't long before I had to pull over and accept the fact that I couldn't go any further. I had to leave the car behind and start on this new journey on my own.
It’s terrifying, most days. Too scared to walk, I began by crawling. Some days, even that wasn't possible. Some days, the best I could do was curl up in a ball and wait for another day to pass, for Strength to come and find me and urge me along.
All along the way I never lost sight of Hope. I knew that Hope was always somewhere ahead of me, clearing a path for me for when I was ready.
Today, there are days where I can walk swiftly, powerfully putting one foot in front of the other while I take in the beautiful view around me. On these days I am amazed at the wonder and possibility that could be lying around each bend in the road.
On these days I feel my son, my compass, guiding me like he did when he was here in my arms. I need these days to get me through the rest. I need these days to help sustain me when I’m in a ball on the floor crying out for everything that once was.
I can handle crawling blindly through the fog because I know Hope and Strength are out there just beyond my sight, I can still feel them. I can still feel him, my son. He is still my compass after all, and I need him now more than ever because really, my journey has just begun.
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