My Dearest Jonah,
Although all of my writing is always for you, it’s been a while since I’ve written a letter like this, straight to you. It feels so good to come back to this…talking to you directly.
It was 7 months ago today that you came silently into the world, the day after your heart stopped beating. It feels both like it’s been a lifetime, and no time at all. It’s just crazy how time stretches and condenses when something so monumental happens to a person.
Jonah, so much has happened to me in the past 7 months. I became a mom – a bereaved mom – and that changed my core self, my identity. 7 months later, I’m still figuring out exactly what that means, but it’s becoming clearer as these months without you roll by.
I’ve learned so much about myself, about grief, about relationships, and about life since that day. I won’t try to describe it all, because I doubt I could put most of it into words. What I will say is that it’s very confusing. Jonah, I’m sad and angry a lot because I miss you so much, but being ripped apart by your loss has also formed me into a better person. My relationships are deeper, my empathy for others is incredibly high, and I often feel like I’m just radiating love and appreciation for the world around me.
How is it that I can be grieving so deeply, but also be a better person? Grief is a strange, difficult thing to navigate. It pulls you in just about every direction you can imagine. One of the most important things I’ve learned in these 7 months is just to be accepting. Accept myself they way I am, accept my feelings the way they are, and allow myself room to be and do what I need in the moment. Sometimes that makes me feel selfish, but it’s also just the way I survive – the way I navigate this maze-like grief world.
Life is beautiful, and complicated, and crazy, and full of love and beauty, right alongside the sadness and anger and all the most difficult emotions of loss. You just have to live every moment in whatever way you can. Some of them will be joyful, some will be hard, and some will just be regular moments of standing in line at the grocery store or driving in traffic. There will be different feelings in all those moments, and if we all lend ourselves the grace to feel however we feel and don’t stress so much about how we *think* we should feel, life will be a lot easier.
That’s just some of what I’m learning, my lovely little man – just some of what your life is teaching me. Who knows how else I’ll grow and change as this grief continues to mature and change? Whatever happens, it’s all because of how much I love you, and how much I miss you, and how amazing your short life was.