I’m afraid to feel good. I finally had to admit this.
How can I ever possibly feel good again? She will always be missing, and I will always be missing her. There is no good when she is gone. Except…there is. There is so much of it.
After so many years of instability and drama, things are calm. We all have our health. We have great, steady jobs. My daughter has friends and an impressive imagination and my baby is about to turn one. Even my dog is humming along. But I cannot write the words, “life is good for us right now,” without getting a lump in my throat and a tremendous wave of guilt.
I remember a woman in one of my grief groups talking about her story and ending it with how, at that point, life was great for her. She was several years ahead of me on the path, but I still felt dismayed. Appalled. And ashamed for judging her. But I just didn’t understand how life could ever be good, let alone great, with one of my children missing. It did not seem possible.
But now here I am. I have two more children that I tried so hard to bring here, and they bring me so much happiness. I get why that woman said life was great. I’m just too afraid of how it will feel to admit it, too.
I walk the path between happiness and sadness all day, every day. Just like I’ve always tried to not veer too far into sadness, I’m equally frightened to turn my back on it and walk into happiness. I’m terrified it will feel like I’m betraying her. Until then, I’ll keep walking the line.
My arms are full, but they are not. I’m happy, but still sad. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to say, “Life is good,” without feeling like I’m going to be sick. Maybe someday I’ll even be able to admit that life is great.
Because this really is.