Today I was going to write about the things we did this weekend that brought me joy... and brought me down.
I was going to write about our trip to the movies with Brian to see Monster's University and how he was dancing in the aisle when the credits were rolling (seriously, he was!)...
...and how bittersweet it was that it was our first family movie without Gavin.
I was going to write about how Miss Sara generously gifted us with a night of babysitting so I could have dinner and see another movie with Ed. And how we both cried over Gavin during our meal.
I was going to write about how I got Brian out of the house on Sunday to go to "Bounce U" to give Ed a break and when I got home I found him working hard planting Gavin's funeral flowers. The only two remaining that we're hoping to save. He planted them right outside the playroom window so we can see them every day in our favorite room.
I decided not to write yesterday because I was too busy hugging Ed. And feeling sorry for myself. And letting Ed hug me. And so on, and so forth.
And I was realllllly tempted to write at length about Brian's disastrous first swim lesson this morning. How he started off looking confident and excited like this:
But spent the entire lesson sobbing uncontrollably and refused to participate. (By bedtime tonight, as I was excitedly telling Daddy about how brave Brian was and how I heard the other boy in his class tell his mommy that HE wanted an Angry Bird bathing suit like "that kid" - suddenly, Brian was looking forward to going back in the morning.)
Truth is - I've been having a major pity party and I've been feeling very emotional because I'm missing Gavin. And my post would have been a pretty major whine-fest. No one needs that.
Actually - I didn't need that. If I gave into it, it would have festered and I would have received a lot of sympathetic comments from readers who are so kind and just want to make this better. And truth is, that would have fed the monster that just wants to be sad.
Over the past couple months, we've had so many people say things to us like...
"If this happened to me, I couldn't go on."
"I don't think I'd survive the loss of a child."
"How is it even possible to get through this, let alone get past it?"
"I would rather die."
But you know what's interesting? None of those people have ever lost a child. I know others, unfortunately, who have lost children. None of them told me, "I wanted to stop living."
We can't stop living.
It's true that the WORST possible thing that could happen to a family happened to us - we lost a child. A sweet, innocent five and a half year old boy who had already endured so much. Who had SO much potential. Who was really the healthiest person in our house, which makes his death just that much more difficult to understand.
But if we stopped living because of this event, what purpose would that serve?
Lots of things can happen to us over the course of our lives. Heck, lots of things have happened to me! And it may seem that one... or two... or many things will "bring you down" or "take you out."
Don't believe it.
I'm sure you've heard someone say - "When you get to Heaven, you'll find out the reasons...the answers...behind your suffering here on Earth."
I don't believe that.
I don't think that one should walk around in life miserable and resentful of things that "happened to them" and wait their entire life until they're dead to understand why. That doesn't make any sense to me. And the only purpose it serves is to continue victimizing and torturing yourself.
Maybe instead you can look your life circumstances right in the eye: death of a loved one, abuse, divorce, loss of a job, loss of a dream, addiction, infertility, betrayal, miscarriage. Look it straight in the eye and realize that within that life circumstance lies the answer. You don't have to wait until your dead. It's right there in front of you.
It's right there.
Repurpose your pain, your suffering, your hurt into something that will work for you. If you take control and decide to learn and grow and help others BECAUSE of your pain...you'll find that you start feeling less and less pain yourself.
Yes, things happen TO you in life.
And it sucks.
But things happen FOR you as well.
And sometimes, even though it's hard to see, those things are one in the same.