Everyone talks about the first year when you lose a loved one, and many often discuss getting through the “Year of Firsts” – the first birthday, the first Christmas, the first anniversary etc. It can leave you with a false sense that once you get through the firsts you will then be fine. That is a fallacy. But what about the second year of grief?
When someone you love dies, a part of you dies with them. You are never the same person you once were.
Many times, throughout the first year I often heard other bereaved moms express how the second year of grief was far worse than the first. Inwardly I cringed as I couldn’t imagine feeling any worse than I did already. The thought of it frightened me.
As I continue maneuvering through this journey, it has become more apparent this is very different for each of us.
For me, the second year hasn’t been worse than the first, but it has certainly been different. I am different.
Now that I’m skirting the 1.5-year mark, I’ve noticed how my grief has evolved. Oh, it’s still there and it will be forever. It’s become a part of me.
Today, I’m thankful there are now moments of sadness instead of hours and days. There is never a moment when I’m not missing my girl, and there are still times when the tears flow like rain falling from the sky.
Grief reminds me of the energy created from a geyser. It’s always there, bubbling just beneath the surface. There is no way to stop it. We must allow it to be released.
During the first year I believe we walk around in shock. The second year it becomes more of a reality.
She isn’t away on vacation or living in another state. Melanie ran ahead to heaven. It sinks in more and more as the days pass by and there is no denying it.
These are the waters I find myself navigating. The waves continue to nip at my heels, but I refuse to let them take me under.
God has been faithful in upholding me and occasionally even offers us small signs of my beautiful girl.
Recently, my oldest son who lives out of state came to visit for the first time since Melanie’s Celebration of Life service. It was a beautiful evening and we decided to eat outside. I put some music on and only a few minutes into dinner, the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow came on. We all immediately stopped eating and looked at one another. This was the song my son selected when he made Melanie’s one-year angelversary video for me. Melanie was there with us.
My faith in God is as relentless as the surge of the waves. He has sustained me and never left my side. The good news is, what he has done for me, he will also do for you.
Whether it’s the first year, second year or twentieth year of walking this journey, until I see the light of heaven and my girl once again, I will never give up nor give in.