I remember the first time I laughed – a genuinely happy laugh – after Joshua died. I stopped myself and immediately felt guilty for that moment of happiness. I thought, what kind of bereaved mother laughs? If I laugh, he’ll think I’m over him, that I’ve moved on.
There is no proper timeline to grief and sadness. It hits you at the strangest moments. It took a while for me to feel okay to smile again. In the first weeks, I thought I might never smile again, I might never be happy again. But as time went on, it was easier to smile and, in fact, it felt good to smile. I thought, if I died, I wouldn’t want my mother to be this sad. I’d want her to rejoice in my life and the good times we had together. Joshua provided us with so much happiness the brief time he was with us and thinking of those times make me happy.
I like to think of myself as a glass half full type of person. I like to think I smile a lot. But recently I wonder if I smile too much. For example, at work, I always smile at people I pass in the halls or ask people how they are doing. When I answer that same question with, “good” or “great”, sometimes I feel wrong answering that way. I am good, and sometimes I even feel great, but there’s the underlying grief I still hold. Do people think I’ve gotten over the death of my child too soon? Do people think I’ve moved on forgotten about him? The truth is, I will never stop grieving the death of my son. I will never forget about him and the impact he has made on my life.
I need to move forward, I need to remember the happy times we had. There are no guarantees in life – that I have learned in the past few months. Joshua has taught me that I need to live life to the fullest and be happy with my surroundings. I am so happy Joshua was in our lives. The pain I have felt is due to the intense love we have for him. For that, I wouldn’t change anything. Of course I wish he was physically here with us, but I know he’s watching over us! He is with us everyday – that makes me smile!