Mae Renfroe lost her second-eldest son, Clayton, in a quadding accident in April of 2017 at the age of fourteen. Mae and I both hope you will be encouraged by her story.
Most days, most times, I do okay now. In fact, I can honestly say, I'm doing well. I have joy, and hope, and purpose in my life.
But right now, today, on the three-year milestone after we lost you, I'm putting aside the things that I use to keep me busy and sitting in the sadness, Levi.
One year closer to seeing you again. May I use the time I have until then to love well.
There is an old joke that goes, "How do you eat an elephant?"
"I don't know, how do you?"
"One bite at a time."
The not-so-hidden truth in here can be applied to so many things—projects, goals, ginormous meals. But today, I'm going to talk about how I have found this true when tackling emotional hardship.*
*No elephants were harmed in the making of this blog post.
For some people, the Christmas season is their most difficult grieving season of the year.
Not me. With the passing of Noah's birthday on February 26, I have been descending pell-mell down the slope of anniversaries that bring up bittersweet memories of Levi.
Apparently, getting puppies is how I deal.
Two years later, we are still completely humbled when we consider the massive wave of support we received when Levi died. I am convinced that the support of our community through that first difficult year had a good deal to do with the progress we made in our healing. Yes, the work of grief must be done on an individual basis. But knowing that we were never alone had a significant impact on how brave we were in approaching that work.
Last Saturday, Levi turned four. It could have been an awful, hard, day of mourning. But it wasn't. It was a day of joy, and remembering, and thinking about our little man. Together.
In a way, every day, every moment sine June 3, 2015 has been a "first" in this first year since I went from being merely a parent of four boys or an adoptive parent to a bereaved parent. Every day, there are things that trigger my tears. Some of them are quite small and seemingly insignificant--but even something that might seem small to others can leave my heart weighed down by stones too heavy to lift for most of the day.