Here we are again my dearest Emersyn. April 7th only the year is 2015. I hate this date just as much as I treasure it since it was on this day in 2009 that your physical body was with me for the last time. I remember it like it was yesterday a moment suspended in time. I remember feeling the energy of the doctors and nurses shift once we knew you were passing. It became about being in the moment, being present, being mindful and truly just being with you. I have never been more effortlessly present or mindful in my life than when you were passing in our arms for those 22 hours. It has been 6 years since you have passed and I am no closer to reconciling or accepting that you my beautiful daughter, my precious first born child is gone. Thankfully reconciliation or acceptance are not goals of mine as a bereaved mother and never will be. I carry you all of you, in my heart and soul everyday and I never want to let you go you are me I am your Mother and I will hold my grief as fiercely as I will hold my love for you until the day that I die. You are sacred, my grief is as sacred as it is painful and I learn from my grief…. I learn from you every day.
I am far from perfect, in fact I was shattered into a million little shards of myself when you died and I never did rebuild myself. I could barely recognize myself or the person I once was. I could not rebuild a picture of my life without you so instead I continue to make a mosaic of the broken pieces while adding new pieces some good, some bad but all sacred because they are gifts and lessons that you have given me. A mosaic is broken but it is also beautiful. I was inspired by this thought at our Christmas memorial at the Coping Center after a beautiful talk about the mosaic of grief was given. I always said from the day that you were born that you were my teacher more than I could ever be yours. I can honestly say that the things you have taught me about myself and the world continue to open my mind and my heart every day and help me to create this new mosaic of myself.
I have learned that carrying pain in our hearts is just the same if not greater than carrying a physical pain around all day so self care and being kind to ourselves is so important in healing. I have learned that when grief or any ailments we may suffer from go unnoticed, ignored or pushed down those ailments take on a life of their own and can start to take over. I have learned that self reflection and growth are truly an ongoing journey and it is so important to not only forgive others but forgive ourselves. I have learned that trauma, anxiety and sadness are just as valid and powerful as laughter, joy and happiness. I have learned that grief needs to be cared for and nurtured and no stone should go unturned in looking for comfort, answers, peace or whatever it may be that brings me healing in my journey since losing you. I have learned humility in the presence of pain and to always walk towards suffering never run from it. I have learned that I feel more full when I help others than I ever could if I avoid their suffering. I have learned that children are our greatest teachers, they live in the moment, they are mindful and they never apologize for expressing their grief or their joy they are the real deal. I have learned that nature is vital to mental health and well being. I have learned that a simple hug, laugh or message from a friend on a bad day can turn the whole day around. I have learned that we do not have a language for grief the way we do for love so bereaved people have to walk alone sometimes. I have learned that human resilience and hope is the most amazing force on earth. I have learned that when I need you Emersyn you send me the most extraordinary signs to reaffirm my faith and let me know you are near. I have learned that I can still be both a grieving mom and enjoy my amazing living children and all of the gifts that they give me every day. You came as my teacher Emersyn and gave the most selfless gift of all so others could learn to do better to be better despite all of our human “flaws”. You picked me as your Mom and losing you was the hardest thing I have had to do but I need you to know that I continually try to share your lessons that you send my way. I may not always do a great job of sharing them and many times my own grief trips me up and slows me down but I am compelled to try in honour of you.
There is a quote that I love about grief and if you gave it to me 6 years ago I would have been crushed by it but now I appreciate it. “We only grieve where we love. So grief is an aspect of love. Let it be as it is and be humbled by it. Allow grief to be a great teacher”. Grief is the other side of love it is an aspect of love so how deeply we love is how deeply we grieve. I am far from perfect I have so many flaws I can be a real pain in the butt actually! But I know this …..I love deeply, loyally and forever so if you know me I mean really know me like you do Emersyn then you know both the depths of my love and my grief. They are infinite and I treasure both, I carry both I honour both. As tremendous a load as grief is to carry it is mine and I will let it flow as I do my love for you.
My dear Emersyn I hope that your lessons continue to reach others and inspire us all to do better to be better and to never lose hope for whatever suffering we may be struggling with. You taught me that joy can happen alongside pain and I will never forget the love, laughter and compassion that you brought out in everyone that carried us through and continues to reach us when we need it most. Emersyn may you always continue to bring out the good in everyone and remind us that a mosaic is just as beautiful if not more than a perfect picture.