I am one of those people that really loves a new year. It feels like a fresh notebook on the first day of school with limitless possibilities and potential.
It’s hard to make plans for the next minute much less the next year when you have lost a child. It’s painful to start another year without her. It feels like each passing day is another day farther away from her.
But I learned a lot last year; about myself, my community, and the person I want to be. Things I want to carry with me into 2017. Things like…
I can do hard things. I started 2016 very much in the depths of grief. Along the way, I faced my first Mother’s Day without her and the first anniversary of her death. I found out I was pregnant again, and have tried to bravely appreciate and face each day. I sought help for the overwhelming anxiety I was experiencing following her loss. I said goodbye to my dear old pup Kirby after 16 1/2 incredible years together.
My husband makes my life exponentially better. He gets me. He’s patient with me. He lets me be myself and feel what I feel. He loves me no matter what.
I have some kicka$$ people in my life. These people could have looked at me like I was insane when I said I was starting Madison’s Closet after having just lost her a few months earlier, but they didn’t. They listened to me toil over every decision, and cried with me as the first moms came to us for help. They didn’t placate me or discourage me, in fact many of them rolled up their sleeves and got to work right along side me. Jeff, my Mom, sister, mother-in-law, and countless friends old and new.
The tribe of women I have joined in the loss community is like no other group I have ever known. These women I cannot say enough about. They lift you up from your lowest point and show you the real meaning behind not being alone on this road. They see and accept me good, bad, and even ugly.
Madison is here and I will continue to love and honor her every second that I live. One of my greatest treasures this past year is having found the way to honor and grow my daughter’s legacy. I look forward to discovering the path forward for Madison’s Closet and continuing to help other moms like me.
I started 2016 not knowing how it would end or how I would even get through the first week. I go in to 2017 knowing things will be hard and there will be pain and sadness. I also know there are things to be thankful for around every corner if you just keep an eye out for them. I know that things will break and that it is not always within our power to put them back together. All we can do is be the best version of ourselves for that moment we have been given.
Happy New Year to you all.