The clouds have finally parted after days of incessant rain. And yet, here I am sitting at my computer with sorrow sitting deep in my bones.
It was a simple image, one that should be celebrated. Owen and I pulled into our driveway from Trader Joe’s and there they were. A couple innocently and joyfully walking with their brand new baby, the mom likely desperate to get out of the house and the dad simply wanting to support his wife and new child.
It was a tender and sweet picture, so why was it making me so very sad?
And then I remembered. I remembered 3 years ago being that exact couple walking with our new baby boy around the cul-de-sac, gazing with adoration and feeling full of love and hopes and dreams.
This month is 2 years since the divorce. It’s been 2 years of an immense amount of growth and healing and deepening my relationship with God.
But even 2 years later, I am still grieving. I have known this truth, but I often forget and wonder why things feel heavier than they should still and why I am much more likely to cry simply seeing a couple walking their baby down my street.
Owen’s dad and I are in a really, really good place. I have so much to celebrate in my life. I fell in love with someone new, I am reigniting old passions and interests, I am open to possibilities and I am growing into a more grounded person.
But I am still sad.
I have had to learn to grieve those old dreams one day at a time, and grow new dreams instead. All of this is okay. I believe God gives us permission to grieve as long as we need.
Sometimes I feel like I should be further along, that something like seeing a couple with a new baby shouldn’t send me into a deep and immense fog that feels hard to break free from.
But God knows what I need. And today He knew I needed to cry, that I needed to grieve our family of three and continue to make space for our new version of family consisting of co-parenting and potential stepfamilies.
Even through the tears, I am so very grateful. I am so grateful for the love Owen’s dad and I still share for our child together. I am so grateful for the hope and joy my present relationship brings to my life. I am so grateful for the healing and support that I receive daily from loved ones. I am grateful for miracles like my mom and stepdad moving to Alabama and for job opportunities that have led me to finding a path to teaching part-time.
I am learning it is okay to feel both sorrow and joy, and often they are intertwined.
Every human grieves, and we all do it differently. God has continued to show me through my own grief process that writing brings healing.
For others, something else may help them process and heal the hurt. I think the best thing we can do is to be honest, and say it still hurts, even if it is years later and we thought we would be done with the grief.
The other side of that honesty is the gentle reminder that this too shall pass and that darkness allows for light to shine all the more brightly.
For me, grief has been a wave, sometimes overpowering and knocking me down, and other times simply nudging me forward. Today I got knocked down. But I have found that with each wave that comes, I tend to rise stronger and more resilient and for that I am grateful.