Another change

When I left my last blog and started writing here, my goal was to capture the little moments of grief and survival, the moments that are gone in an instant, like individual drops of water caught in the torrent that is Niagara Falls. So I write a lot about grief. I write about the hard moments, the sad moments, the life-changing moments. Occasionally I capture the astonishing beauty of my life, the incredible love and joy that goes hand in hand with breathing. I wonder how this reads to people who do not know me outside of the words on their computer screen. I wonder if I seem a sad mess. A comment every now and again will surprise me and I’ll think, I’m okay – don’t you know I’m really okay?

Most of the time.

The moments of devastation are fewer and farther between. The tears come but not as often. He’s been dead longer than he lived inside me and I’m growing used to the world without him.

The grief does not end. It shifts and moves, dancing through me in ways that make the world brighter one moment and more gray the next. Grief is the door that opened and launched me into a new way of being. Grief is the teacher and my life is forever changed.

I am grateful.

Not that my son died, but that his death has propelled my growth. That I am a happier person now than I’ve ever been. That I feel myself coming into greater alignment with the little girl who wrote stories, danced, and dreamed of horses and oceans. That I fight less and allow more.

A former therapist asked me what I was battling and I couldn’t answer. It’s like you’re standing in the middle of a field in a storm, trying to fight off thunder clouds with a lightning rod. He asked me what I’d done so terribly wrong that I didn’t deserve to be happy. I didn’t know.

Because there was no one thing.

I look at my daughter, whose inner light still shines like the sun, and I think, we all come into life that way. We are born with an internal brilliance and our parents, and/or our peers, and/or our schools, and/or our churches, and/or the world somehow convince us that we are not as beautiful or as good or as worthy as we thought. Even with two parents who are doing their conscious best to not dim her light, I can see little moments of unintended shame, or expectation, or the sadness of our household affect her. It shakes me to my core.

The dimming is inescapable. Adult society doesn’t know what to do with a child’s inner shine. We all cut off parts of ourselves in order to be acceptable, to be loved, to be liked. What changes is the degree of the breaking apart and how quickly we return to ourselves.

Ben’s death is bringing me back to myself. This is – and always has been – my journey. I’ve stolen the words from my last blog and brought them here. Because I imagine here is where I will stay. But if I happen to move, these words will follow me. They are what I write about – the journey toward wholeness.

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7 Responses to Another change

  1. Cheri Masek says:

    Sending all of you love. I really will get up there one of these days. Hugs Cheri

  2. Jessica says:

    Beautifully said as always… (((hugs))) we are all journeying towards becoming whole somehow I just feel you will reach that destination sooner than you may think…

  3. Olivia says:

    I don’t know your spiritualism; I don’t want to assume, but I truly believe that his spirit is there, intact and whole, without pain, without suffer, and still so full of love for you. He is the essence of love. It surrounds you. Maybe that is the lightening of your spirit. Hugs.

  4. Stereo says:

    I am thankful that you’re ok, Alana. I truly am. I have to admit to sometimes worrying but I only need remind myself that you have a wonderful support system nevermind such a buoyancy of spirit so I know you’ll be alright.

  5. Tiffany says:

    Thank you so much for what you are doing. Thank you so much for sharing your journey back to yourself with us. I am inspired by you each and everytime you write. You are a truly gifted writer and I wish more people in the world were as conscious and self-actualized as you are. You are a gift to the world and to your daughter. I was just discussing with my husband last night the very thing you wrote about in this post. Our sons are 4 and 2 and the light we try to keep burning so brightly within them is starting to be dimmed by the world. It is recognizable more with the 4 year old as he experiences preschool, teachers, other children etc.. Recognizing they will have their own experience and evolution here reminds me that they are their own beings and gives me the strength to keep doing my best to provide them with essential tools for their growth while allowing them to see that I continue to strive and learn and grow- mistakes and all! Thank you once again for raising the frequency 🙂 – you are an amazing person.

  6. Alana, as always your words brought tears and heart-opening (in a GOOD way, just saying).

    I love that you are brave enough (it takes courage!) to share your hard times (as well as your good times) even though that sometimes lead to folks misunderstanding (thinking you are NOT doing ok deep inside). Your words show who you are – give us a glimpse of your loving wonderfulness – and I have to think: what a blessing to have a mommy like YOU!

    What you wrote: “We all cut off parts of ourselves in order to be acceptable, to be loved, to be liked. What changes is the degree of the breaking apart and how quickly we return to ourselves.” – wow! So true!! So sad, but so true. Here’s to everyone reuniting with those cut off parts – posts like yours can touch hearts and make that happen.

    I’m grateful with you – not for Benjamin’s death – but for how you feel you are “coming into greater alignment with the little girl who wrote stories, danced, and dreamed of horses and oceans.” Sending love,

  7. Hi there. I’m new to your blog. Just today I wrote about a powerful experience that has stuck with me ever since having a stillborn son ten years ago (and the way he is still a presence for me), and when I posted it, someone suggested I should come over and read your blog. I’m glad I followed their advice.

    It’s been ten years, but still I know so well what you are talking about. The joy, the awakening, and the transformation that the experience of losing a baby can bring, but then the flip-side – the pain, the loss, the deep, deep sadness.

    May you be blessed as you travel this road. We are a tribe, those of us who have known this loss, and we understand things that others may not be able to grasp.

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