Feel all the feels....
Last week was school vacation week for my boys. But this year was different, for the first time since we've had February break, I didn't have it with my kids. The magnitude of what that reality meant wasn't lost on me and it was really hard.
Long before we seasoned at Loon Mountain, my family of six spent much of February break with our family and friends there. This year, my boys spent the week with their dad and I went back and forth to Loon by myself. Which meant a lot of time in the car, alone, with my thoughts. Typically, I listen to podcasts, talk on the phone, and jam out to music to block out the noise in my head on my drives. But, I am trying to get better at listening, at feeling and at quieting the noise. On my last trip up, I drove in silence and let the thoughts that I always try to push away come. It wasn't easy and I was hit with waves of emotions.
I missed my boys. School vacation without your kids happens, they go on school trips or away with friends. That's normal. But, when you've lost a child, and then gone through a divorce, school vacation without your kids feels very different.
I grieved for my youngest son. I grieved for the family of six that I once had. It's so hard to process, sometimes, that I went from a family of six to a family of four just half of the time. It's a tough concept to grasp.
I felt angry. Angry that I go through much of this grief process alone. Not technically alone, I am the luckiest person on the planet with my tribe. I have the greatest family and framily. I am beyond grateful for that and for all of the support I have. But, I can't grieve with the other parent of Devin. The other person who was there when he was born, the other person who lost this beautiful child. I am not angry about the loss of that relationship, because I am not. I am exactly where I am supposed to be personally. But to go through this process on my own, as a parent of Devin, is so hard. People often say to me, I couldn't imagine. Which is good, I wouldn't want anyone to have to try. It is unimaginable.
As I drove into the mountains, alone without music, podcasts, or conversations, I was blown away by the view. A view that I've seen hundreds of times, but this time I really saw it and was in awe of it. There was bright rays of sunshine beaming down on the mountain tops. I knew Devin was there. I could feel the warmth from the sun. I felt lighter and then I felt grateful. Grateful for the gift of having my boys. To have had Devin for almost seven years, and for Colin, Owen, and Brenden, that I will cherish as long as I can. I am grateful to be able to figure out who I truly am, what I am meant to be, and for the next chapter of my life.
I was so perplexed by how quickly life can change, how it's so unpredictable. How you can feel heartbroken and grateful in the same moment. I have so much to learn about life and living. One day at a time, one drive at a time, one school vacation at time.