9 years ago today on April 7th we lay on either side of Emersyn and felt her spirit leave this world on a snowy day much like today. In fact the snow only came moments after she passed and someone said that God turned off the weather in that moment as earth just lost a great soul. The strange thing is when we left the hospital carrying Emersyn in our arms to take her to the funeral home I did not feel one ounce of the cold.
I have replayed her passing so many times in my head and everyday we work around the hole. The hole of missing her smile, her soft dark hair and warm brown eyes. Every single day we carry our grief no matter what is happening at work, at home, with the kids or in the world we will never take off the shoes of being bereaved parents. And we have learned to do this over the years but not without a toll of course so we have to pace ourselves. Today, although we have worn these shoes for 9 long years it feels like we lost her yesterday and we feel the load is too heavy to carry. A restless and deep sorrow bubbles right to the surface and we know it well. A mixed bag of aching love and raw grief and what a combination those two great emotions are to make sense of.
The past few weeks have been exhausting building up to this day. The season, the month, Easter and the talk of Spring all started to slowly trigger the iceberg of grief. We know what our triggers are now but the only trouble is we don't know when they will happen or how we will react. Sometimes I am tapped out and can't shed another tear and other times a simple song comes on in the car and I am right back to the day we lost her.
Jay and I dropped Isla and Callum at my parents house today so we could have some time to process, reflect and grieve. Thank-you for your support as always Mom and Dad. Grief is such a personal experience so while Jason sits downstairs I am upstairs looking at her pictures and writing. It doesn't get easier with time but we have found some self care strategies that help.
When we drove back from the cemetery I said to Jason that the best way for people to honour Emersyn today would be to do some self care. I say this as lately I have felt tired, worn down and in need of some self care. I remember when Emersyn was alive a simple shower, cup of coffee or chat with family or friends really helped me to cope. I look back on those simple things and realize how important they were and how grateful I felt for those little things. I learned gratitude for the smallest things while I felt my greatest love and my greatest pain. I know Emersyn would want us all to stop functioning on overdrive, press the pause button and do something even a small thing that makes us feel cared for.
A great gift that Emersyn gave us was slowing down time when she was alive. I can truly say that everyday she was with us felt so important and those simple moments felt so rich. We knew that we had very limited time with our daughter and although she never traveled the world with us our everyday moments were steeped in joy and love. I did not care about taking care of myself when Emersyn was diagnosed with SMA. However I quickly learned that to take care of Emersyn and be there for her the small things like a cup of coffee or a chat with a friend would help me to be a better Mom.
In honour of Emersyn's beautiful life and the touchstone she has become for so many people we are asking this today....
Please press pause on the overdrive button and be kind to yourself. Take a walk, call a friend, read a book, write, eat a treat, take a nap, forgive yourself....or just sit and cuddle with the ones you love even if you only have 5 minutes. It is in these moments that you are letting your heart breathe, fill up and feel gratitude. Emersyn taught us that humans are resilient and can endure a great deal but life can take a toll on our bodies, minds and spirits. Self care is spiritual as it starts with looking within to figure out what might help and results in more energy to care for and connect with others.
In honour of Emersyn we are asking that all of our family, friends and anyone reading her blog please take a moment and be kind to your body, mind and heart today. My self care today is allowing time for my grief to just be without limitations. It is amazing what the heart can do when we fill it up.
Thank-you to our beautiful Emersyn for filling our hearts up daily and to everyone who has carried us over the past 9 years we are so grateful. Our hope is that you care for yourself today so you can care for and connect with others always.
We miss you Emersyn everyday and we will continue on this messy journey trying to look for hearts to fill with your love,
Mommy, Daddy, Isla, Callum and all of your family and friends xoxoxoxoxoxoxo