Another day has gone by and we are floating through life in a somewhat normal fashion. I took Britta with me to the gym for the first time since December. She did not remember being there, despite the many hours she has played there—with and without Reece. Reece spent many, many hours in childcare there and very much enjoyed himself. We go to the YMCA which, in my opinion, has superior childcare to any other workout facility I have been to in the metro area. In fact, the staff that watched Reece sent our family a lovely card after he passed away to express their sympathy. Upon seeing us today, we briefly discussed Reece and they encouraged us that they were glad to see us back there and also excited to meet Scarlett in the near future.
I have come to the conclusion that avoiding places and things that remind us of Reece is overall not the right way to go—at least for the time being. My knee jerk reaction after Reece passed was that we needed to switch gyms, sell our house, trade in our cars, and generally avoid many places where we have memories of him. Now I have begun to think about it differently. I love the memories I have of him. Sometimes they feel painful and sometimes they make me feel content. Regardless, if I avoid anything associated with Reece that may bring back memories, I am afraid said places will become untouchable, only painful, and never approached in a healthy way.
Likewise, I have yet again accessed the advice of our good friend, Brad, who told me nearly a decade ago that it is quite alright to “sit” in whatever emotional place that the moment brings. I’m finding that grief is an interesting (for lack of a better term) animal. It washes over at certain times and in many unexpected ways and forms. However, I refuse to avoid it, let it fester, and grow into something more problematic. Grief is purposeful and isn’t the problem; avoiding grief is.
Speaking of avoidance, the one thing that is tripping me up is the unavoidable looks we receive of people feeling sorry for us. I completely understand it, I just wish there was a way to somehow let people know that we are quite alright. I felt this way when Reece was ill as well. I need a t-shirt that says, “Please don’t feel sorry for us—we actually really love our life.” I get this peculiar feeling that people somehow assume we have a bad lot in life. I know that feeling stems from all the feelings I have experienced when I have heard about other people’s families and the things they are dealing with. I somehow have assumed that because they don’t have a standard path in life, it is inferior to a path that appears “normal”. What a load of crap I have bought into. I’m now sitting in the reverse mentality of “the grass is always greener” and I think it’s best described as, “The grass in my yard is green enough for me.”
I have also concluded that I’m not sure I would read my blog if I was someone else, because it is where I am going to sort through some heavy things. The purpose has shifted for the time being and will likely be more of a personal diary until we figure out Reece’s memorial. We want to keep it up and running and perhaps use it for other purposes once we’ve decided what to do in honor of Reece. We’ll certainly update people on how that is coming along. But other than those updates, there is no buffer of unemotional info. Everything now is more along the lines of processing grief and living regular life. This serves as a “heads up” that I will be updating the blog, but right now, it will be mostly sorting through life in a strange way. This isn’t an apology, but I am aware of the rawness of our life and I acknowledge that this blog is in transition, which is an accurate reflection of our life. I’m feeling led to post some things we are experiencing, because I flat-out can’t reintegrate into regular activities the way I had envisioned doing when I assumed Reece would make it through his transplant. At this point in time, I can’t just pick up and connect in person the way I had assumed would happen. Therefore, I hope to 1) process my feelings, 2) connect with others who may be going through something similar, and 3) keep a circle of our friends and family up to speed on how we are doing as a family. And, let’s face it, I’ve come to appreciate this space. Like I said in my last post, it feels like home.
Have a blessed day.