For the first time since Abigael died (good God, that will never get easier to think, say, or write) we spent the holidays with our family. Not that they didn’t want to in the previous years—they love us deeply. Their deep love and immense patience is what allowed us to simply retreat into our own cocoon, because these “perfect family togetherness” days were just so damn painful.
And, for the first time since Abigael died, these holidays, you were more likely to find me smiling than weeping. The Christmas memories with Abigael were so abundant and so vivid. And we shared them, collectively. She is so cherished, and in order to know that, to feel that, I had to take the protective walls I had built around those memories down and share her.
We rung in the New Year surrounded by people who love us. People who love Abigael. This is no small feat for a bereaved parent. Ushering in a year that your child will not experience, that she did not live in is an indescribable ache. And when I said “Happy New Year” to those people…I meant it. Not just that I wished for THEM to be happy, but that I could see that, in spite of the harrowing circumstances of my life, happy was still possible.
And I’m proud. I’m proud that I have chosen to relentlessly pursue happy. I’m proud that I have allowed the light and love of others to penetrate my carefully constructed, self-protective armor. I’m proud that I had the courage to shift, pivot and continue to learn.
I changed careers. I repaired relationships. I opened myself up again.
Because despite being broken hearted as a result of loving so deeply and fully, I know, without a doubt, that loving and being broken open by love is better than not allowing yourself to feel—feel it all—joy, disappointment, worry, elation, and fear.
HAPPY new year. May you find so many reasons to open yourself up in new ways to love.
Tressa , my darling friend I am so proud of you and all you have determinedly shown us all who love you. You bravely pursued the path of light. You knowingly kept going forward and back and forward again.
Thanks and love to you.
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Thank you for sharing Tressa. Your beautiful heart of sharing and being able to communicate delves right into the deep yet difficult and meaningful purposes in life. Abigael’s life lives on. Love you.
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