Grief doesn’t have to be a crutch or a dark place. Grief doesn’t need to keep you from making progress in your life. Grief – yours, mine, people we know around us – is a process that allows us to decide what is important in our lives and allows the kind of reflective opportunity that makes change possible. The loss of our loved ones can be so inspirational and so motivating. I know Jonah would have had a positive impact in many people’s lives as he grew and I’m committed to living my life in a way that would make my son proud. How that’s going to happen… I can’t say. But I can say that it will be because it was one part the love I have for my son and all parts because of the plan God has for me.
So here’s the deal – if you’re a writer, write about it and be a part of that community. If you’re a runner, run for a cause. If you love cooking, use that as a way to help the less fortunate or donate for fundraisers. Do the things you were meant to do, but do it for yourself and do it in their honor. I’ve found that making things solely about the memory encourages the heartache of the loss instead of bringing about the kind of positivity that their presence would have had, and I think everyone would agree that the person they lost would be proud to see their memory carried on in a way that helps people.
I created this blog to create an unfiltered space that I can process my losses because I’m a person who has a hard time removing that filter in conversations. I have a strong inclination to mediate, to try and bring people together, and a lot of times I feel like being more diplomatic helps make more progress than would otherwise be had. Here’s the problem though – I apply that practice to too many places in my life. My grief is a personal thing and it is perfectly acceptable to talk about tomorrow being a hard day (one full month since we had and lost our son) or what kinds of things I happen to have a hard time with that day. So here’s my compromise – because I’ve always had a passion for both writing and helping people, I’ve decided the time has come to share my blog. Other fathers of lost children could find a place they connect to. Other grieving families might see my stories of hard memories and realize they aren’t the only ones who relive them. Friends who haven’t experienced it themselves might catch a glimpse of what it’s like on the inside of these situations. It won’t always be filtered and it will probably ruffle some feathers from time to time, but it’s necessary. I’m doing it for myself, and because Jonah would want it this way.
I love you always, sweet baby boy. Let’s help some people together