As I enter my second year of life without Shawn, I am noticing many differences from the first year that has passed without permission. One year is filled with the chaotic, deafening sound of loss and the next becomes a silent response to the halting destruction of tragedy.
The first year of loss seems to carry a sense of survival, endurance, and continued existence. This year is summarized by stamina, patience, determination, exhaustion and energy extended simultaneously. It was a year of resilience, strength and weakness pushed along without choice by a driving force. Most of the year carries the mist of a convoluted vapor hazed with confusion, uncertainty, doubt, hesitation, and uncompromising unbelief. For me, the frightening shock of loss overwhelmed the astonishing gift of life, causing me to question every vessel of meaning behind my existence. I spent my year functioning in one world while living in a new world created only for the griever. I was never curious to visit this new place of sadness and heartache, yet found myself staggering within the confines of the perplexing space between life and death. This was my first year.
The second year is soundless. The noise is disappearing and I feel like life is mutely slowing. Words continue to be unable to justly describe a wordless situation. In the stillness of this second year, I am permitted to think more clearly even though the comprehension of what happened hurts in new ways.
The inconsolable reality of loss is my new truth. Just because I lived through one year, doesn’t mean my heart won’t continue to miss her heart’s mate. In order to restore and make well, I believe I need to experience this second hushed year where I can concentrate on what my new life holds. I believe through God’s grace my heart holds the power to mend itself around her undeserved catastrophe.
It is only now, in the start of another year, that I feel like I am entering a place of steadiness to continue the quest for healing. In the quietness of year two, I begin again the journey of rebuilding what was viciously taken away. I have a feeling that on this road, in this new land, I will have many repeated beginnings.