I have recently noted something in my life that seems to indicate subtle movement toward integrating my loss into the everyday framework of my life.
For quite some time I have had a strong abiding need for people with whom I brush shoulders to know of my boy, my pain, and my heartache. It was hard to interact with anyone who wasn’t aware of my loss. However, this has begun to diminish. I have noticed that I have recently been able to sit in new company at peace without them ever knowing my journey of brokenness.
For instance, yesterday I was at a baby shower and talked at length with a woman who just had a baby and, of course, Jud and Jessie came up in the conversation. However, I felt no need to assert that my boy had died unless it came up naturally. And as we chatted, the opportunity never presented itself; it just never seemed to fit our discussion. So this woman left the shower knowing I had two beautiful children that I loved dearly, but she never discovered that one of them now lives in heaven. In some ways if felt strange for her not to know, but it also felt surprisingly okay to have a conversation about kids and not experience this undying need for my loss to be known.
I consider it an honor to talk about Jud and will never shy away from opportunities when it is appropriate for me to share his story and how he has affected my life, but on the other hand, I do not seem to be wearing my grief on my sleeve quite as much as before, which I think may be indicative of growth and healing.