Valentine’s Day has passed, and I find myself entering my grieving season. This melancholy time of year has come upon me every spring since my infant son, Aiden, passed away in 2004. If you’ve lost someone close to you, chances are you know exactly what I mean. It can’t be helped. You can’t will it away. It just creeps in and sticks around until one day you wake up and just feel different.
Over the last couple days, I’ve felt it taking hold and I know that I won’t completely be myself until the end of April. Over the past eight years I’ve learned that trying to hide it or hide from it does me no good, and those who love me and know me well aren’t fooled by my charade.
But, I also know that my son, my beautiful little angel, doesn’t want me to sit and wallow in despair either. So this year, to honor him and the important life lessons he taught me, I’m taking a different approach to the season.
I bought a book of stamps.
In the past, I’ve made myself completely unavailable to those I love during my grieving time. This year, I refuse to use my loss as an excuse to ignore the wonderful blessings and people in my life. One of the most important lessons my short time with Aiden taught me is that celebrating love should be done daily, because you just never know what tomorrow might bring.
With this lesson in mind, I’m going to use that book of stamps to write letters to those in my life who mean the world to me. I’m going to tell them just how I feel about them; how they inspire me; the ways their lives have touched mine; why the thought of them warms me every day.
I think this will not only bring me comfort by reminding me just how fortunate I am, but it will also help me express feelings and thoughts I’ve been selfishly keeping to myself, like some sort of “warm fuzzy” hoarder. Deep losses are weird that way. They make you want to gather these things and keep them close to your chest as if letting them breathe will give them permission to leave too.
Having this mission to share the love rather than cloak myself in grief is already helping, and I haven’t even picked up my pen yet. For those of you who know all too well how I’m feeling, be looking for a post towards the beginning of May. I’ll write again to share if it truly made a difference. Until then, stay strong and take comfort in those who love you and the blessings in your life.