The grieving process is so vast. I have never experienced such huge swings in emotion before losing Chris. At forty-six I've lived through a lot of happiness and also some sadness, but this has been a brand new set of circumstances.
As I've heard, as I'm sure you have too - grief doesn't have a set pattern. It runs its own course on terms of its own. Each of us is processing the passing of Chris in our own way. My handling of it is sure to be different than yours. I'm sure this tragic event has even triggered other things in your life to surface that you may or may not have been dealing with.
I can't talk about how it's been affecting you but I can share that what I've experienced so far has run the gamut from panic to joy. I'm really glad for the joyful moments. I'd like some more of those. I'm told I will have plenty more as time passes and that one day they will outweigh the sadness and anger. For that I'm thankful.
In my daily chats with God I ask him to help me find peace. He does, but I have to keep praying for it because it doesn't always last. Sometimes I find myself spiraling down into a dreary place where I throw myself a nice pity party. But there are times when I feel profound joy. Moments in time when right smack in the middle of my heart I feel tremendous happiness. I revel in that when it happens and thank God I feel it. I know he allows it because he knows my life plan and it's already in place, but each minute in time is new for me and I'm grateful when he helps me experience joy to uplift me and put me back on track.
I love looking at pictures of Chris when he's laughing and being goofy. They put a smile on my face. I have had countless notes, texts and e-mails from his classmates reiterating what a happy and funny kid Chris was. How can I not thank God for such a son? He was mine to nurture for seventeen years on earth and I will continue to nurture and love him in death. I know his friends and family will too. We have been blessed by Chris through his actions and good nature. It's easy to crack a smile thinking of the many things he did to make us laugh. They create joyful moments.
I've been training my brain to be joyful rather than sad or angry when something reminds me of Chris. I recently went to the grocery store and saw the huge display of cereal that I no longer need to buy. Chris loved cereal; it was a snack, a meal or a filler when he needed instant fuel to stave off the grum-bellies. He ate it with or without milk. He'd drag the whole bag to his room sometimes and eat it by the handful. I got teary eyed as I stood in the aisle and took this picture with my phone. At first I thought I'd have a meltdown right there and start loading bag after bag in my cart just because... Then I pulled myself together, stood staring at the rows of cereal and instead of lingering there upset I changed my attitude and started looking over each bag deciding if it was one Chris liked or not. He did have his favorites; Reece Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Crispix. I bought the huge generic bags though because he ate it so damn fast and to him it was mainly just fuel.
I'm working hard at creating more joy when I think of Chris. I make a conscious effort to find the good. Some days it's really tough and others are not too difficult. The emotional swings are quite something!
I hope you're able to catch yourself and turn the tables at times when you're feeling at a loss too. A change in the way you view things can make all the difference. It can make a rough moment bright so your outlook is positive. I don't do it all the time as I'm sure you won't either, we are human, but I pray it happens for you more often than not. It definitely works!
Thank you for reading.