Today was a hard day. I woke up, I prepared for a normal day, but it just wasn’t a normal day. The thing is, I didn’t realize what today was when I first woke up. I didn’t go to bed last night thinking about what today would be. Instead, I had this moment when I realized that today was six months since Brody died, and I couldn’t believe it snuck up on me.
I remember when we first lost Brody, I truly thought I would count the days. I expected to wake up every morning and think: today it has been 104 days since Brody died. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to stop counting.
But that was an unhealthy and unrealistic expectation. I couldn’t sustain it. I’m glad I didn’t hold myself to that, because it would be wrong to make every day about him.
Still, the fact that I’ve been so distracted with my present life, the fact that I was surprised when I realized we reached this milestone – I just felt like a terrible mother. I felt like I’d betrayed Brody in a way.
I thought of this one mom I know who does something for charity every month on the date of her daughter’s death. Why don’t I do that, too? That’s such a beautiful way to honour your child. I’m just not doing enough. I’m really not doing enough to honour Brody.
Jensen reminded me that Brody is not looking down on us waiting to see what we do for him today. He is not upset with me. He doesn’t question my love. And Jensen’s right, but that only made me feel a bit better. Because it’s just so much more than that. This was an overwhelming day of difficult emotions that I feel like no one in my life could possibly understand.
Finally, I remembered something I learned at Landon’s Legacy Retreat. One of the facilitators did an exercise with us where we shared our fears with another person and that person wrote a compassionate response. It’s remarkable how much more compassionate we can be when faced with another person’s weakness. It is not easy to be as compassionate with ourselves.
So, I decided to write myself a compassionate response. I decided to try to look at my situation from the outside and consider what I would say to me as a friend.
I think we often have a lot of critical voices in our head; we say things to ourselves that are simply unkind and we create unfair expectations.
When I thought honestly about what I would say to someone else in my situation, I knew I had nothing unkind to say.
It was still a hard day. I still wish I could have made it less about me and more about Brody. But I think I will figure that out in time – even if I’m not counting the days.