"Some people only dream of angels; we held one in our arms."

Below you will find Austin's story in multiple parts in order to tell the full story of my pregnancy, his birth, funeral and the months following.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Change or Still the same?

Wow... it has been a long time since I have posted, which sometimes I feel is almost a good thing. Not posting as much means that I feel like I have gotten somewhat back to a normal life; I am busy; I am happy. But am I? Sure, the crazy work days are exhausting, and I am not consumed with grief anymore, but once again, my lovely friend, "the heavy, weight feeling," has returned the past couple of days. Nothing that I can't handle; nothing compared to the way it was; but still a lingering pain that I can't seem to shake. So as I am sitting here replaying the events of the day, and just catching my breath after a long day of work and class, I find myself wondering, what is it that I can't shake?

And then I think about how much time has passed; how much time really has gone by since my life changed forever. I think about how far I have come; how far I really have come throughout this whole grief journey. I think about what I really was like those early months of denial and shock, and I am proud of myself for how far I have come. But then I also think about how much the one year anniversary looms, and questions flood me as to what am I going to feel; how am I going to act; am I going to have this "achy" feeling until then? Questions that I know I can't possibly answer; questions that I know I can't let consume me; questions that nonetheless invade my thoughts throughout the day, especially right now.

So, I have been thinking the past couple of days (maybe, it is the return of the warm weather that is kind of bringing things back to me) of how I am going to honor Austin's one-year-anniversary. I was so scared and in denial last year at the funeral; I was so numb to anything; perhaps, this year I should do something that really honors him. Do I keep it small and private to only a few people, or do I plan something that allows my whole family to take part in. (Remember, I have had a hard time dealing with my family, and have been pretty closed off to most of them in regards to Austin.) I don't know, part of me thinks a one-year-anniversary has allowed me the time to work through all of my issues and finally "celebrate" his life. It is a couple of months away, so I don't need to decide now, but I guess that inevitable date has started to creep in my mind.

While I know my grief journey isn't over, considering the thoughts that I have been having the past couple of days, I do feel so blessed to have found some positives throughout this. The whole time, even from the very beginning, I knew God hadn't abandoned me, and I knew that He was going to work through me in ways that I didn't know He could. I knew that I was going to be changed, and I knew that despite the horrendous grief and suffering I experienced, I was a better person for it.

I say this after pondering how I have changed. During the online bible study last Thursday, one of the questions asked us to consider how we have changed, or what positives have come as a result of our situations. One particular blessing that I take from all of this is how I am able to look at almost any situation from a different perspective. As a teacher, I deal with a variety of students coming from different backgrounds and home situations. For some reason this year, it feels like more than ever, I have so many students dealing with loss, grief, anxiety, stress, depression, or some other emotional struggle. While I have always been sympathetic to them, I feel more than ever, I am able to use what happened to me and reach these students in ways I have never been able to before. I don't have to tell them what I went through; I don't have to even talk to them about what they are going through; I can look at them and understand; I can look at them and see the sadness and the pain; I can look at them and actually empathize. I look at them, and see them not as a student in my English class, but as a person, who needs to be reached sometimes at more than just an academic level, but sometimes they just need to know that you understand.

So, as I am sitting here wrestling with my uncomfortable and nagging aches and pains, which I have come to accept is my body's way of dealing with my stress and grief, I do give thanks to God for allowing my perspective to change, and for ultimately allowing Austin's life to give me a way to change how I look and interact with others.


  1. You HAVE come so far! It is difficult at first to think that we will feel happy thoughts again. I am glad that your good days outweigh your sad ones, and I am glad that you have found some positives through all this grief. I'm sure your students appreciate your understanding and some of them will likely remember your kind words and support for a lifetime. Austin's presence has touched so many people's lives...


  2. Perspective is amazing isn't it? Even when we think we are sympathetic, honestly...I'm amazed at how much deeper we can feel. Lifting you up as you feel the weight...