Today is the first day of February and I won’t sugar coat it – this month is a tough one for me. It’s the month Melanie ran ahead to heaven and I’m certain that no matter how much time goes by there will never be a day during this month when I don’t reflect back on all the “lasts.”
In 3 short days it will be 2 years since the last time I ever saw my daughter face-to-face. It’s the last time I felt her arms give me a hug, and the last time we kissed one another goodbye. It was the last time we shared one of our favorite meals together, and it was the last time I got to do one of those things mothers and daughters like to do together – shop.
As I reflect over the past 730 days since I last saw her sweet smile and her beautiful, warm brown eyes, I can’t help but to notice how much has changed over this time.
Last year was what I refer to as the “year of the firsts.” Each first so very difficult to bear. For some after passing the one-year mark of your loved one’s death, you may sense a slight shift.
The shift I’m speaking of is when the numbness of the first year begins to wear off and the reality of life truly begins to set in. As this evolves this doesn’t mean we miss them any less!
Perhaps it’s at this juncture when we begin to realize we need to figure out a way not only to survive but to live again.
For me, I grabbed hold of my faith like a person who can’t swim clings to a life preserver when they’ve been thrown into the middle of the ocean.
My faith in God has been my strength and shield. It’s where I continue to run to on those days when I’m missing my girl so very much.
During this second year the waves still came for me. There were days they threatened to take me under, and some days I let them. Yet as time continues to pass by, I have begun to notice something – the waves which previously came at me with tsunami force are occurring less frequently. Now when they crash over me, they still make me stumble but I don’t feel as though I’m being held underwater without air to breathe. Perhaps this is part of growing through grief.
I’m determined not to allow the day of Melanie’s death to overshadow the days she lived.
Over the past couple of weeks, the song Fires by Jordan St. Cyr, has awakened me in the middle of the night. Consistently a few of the lyrics have remained on my heart. As I enter this month I believe the Lord is using the words to this song to remind me I am not alone.
I’m changed by Your mercy
Covered by Your peace
I’m living out the victory
Doesn’t mean I won’t feel the heat
You’ve walked me through fires
Pulled me from flames
If You’re in this with me
I won’t be afraid
When the smoke billows higher, oh and higher
And it feels like I can barely breathe
I’ll walk through these fires
‘Cause You’re walking with me
I’ll take this month day by day. Reminiscing. Crying. Laughing. Pausing. Praying. Leaning into my family, my friends and my faith to lift me when I need it. As the song says, I know I’ll walk through these fires (of grief), but you’re walking with me.