Wanderlust

I’ve lost the ability to wander. It used to be that I could find a quiet place somewhere and be alone with my thoughts. I used to actually enjoy those times. But somewhere between losing my son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and now, I’ve come to realize that I’m afraid to be with my own thoughts. I used to know where my life was headed; I was in control and life was turning out almost exactly as I had planned it.

Who am I anymore?

My life changed in an instant and I survived something that I thought would, that still has the power to, kill me. I survived watching my son die. I survived hearing a doctor tell me there was nothing more anyone could do. I survived telling my daughters that their brother, the one we were all playing with just hours ago, had died. I survived the guilt of bed sharing, of not taking prenatal vitamins as faithfully as I should have, of watching my husband re-enact what happened when he found Leo unresponsive, watching my family fall to pieces wondering if we could have done something differently. I still beat myself up over that, my husband is still in agony, wondering “what-if?”.

And here I am, in one piece and with another baby. And she’s a perfect baby, so beautiful, and sweet, and such a snuggle bunny. I’m in love with my three girls and I’m tortured by the heartbreak of losing my boy, my Leo.

I move forward everyday and at the same time, my feet are firmly planted at the cemetery. I have one foot in this world and the other in Heaven.

And so I ask myself, “Why can’t you wander around with nowhere to go?” And I suppose that’s a really good question, one I hadn’t spent a lot of time thinking about. But the reason I can’t wander anymore is because it feels like a waste of time. I have places to go, things to accomplish before I can die and go to heaven too. Wandering seems like it would take a long time and what do I have to say to myself anyway? I’m afraid to ask.

I recently made a commitment to try and go for walks with no agenda. I’ve tried dozens of times but always end up with a task to accomplish…tasks keep me from wondering, from wandering aimlessly, from discovering the new me. I know I’ll get there eventually, but in the meantime, I’ll keep making the attempt to wander…and I’ll let you know when it finally happens.

What methods of self-discovery have you found successful after your losses? Have they helped bring you a little further through your grief? Have they brought you closer to your family?

How long did it take before your heart could wander again?

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