I’m moving on but I haven’t moved on.
Coming up to the 11 year anniversary of my son’s death, I realise I’m moving on, going forward.
What does that look like?
I’m no longer as anxious. Triggers have lost their sting and I can cope with them so much better. I laugh more. I find stuff genuinely funny and not just mildly amusing.
I also recover quickly after the tears have welled in my eyes and heart. It doesn’t take hours, days or weeks to get over a painful moment.
I look forward to the future. I have hopes and dreams stirring in my soul. I long for opportunities.
I cope better when others share their heartfelt journeys with me. I don’t feel burdened, it’s not my load to carry.
Did you notice I mentioned moving on, not moved on?
There is a difference, what could that be?
Moving on is still a journey. It’s still travelling. It’s still having some of yourself in the past, unable to quite let go.
Moving on is stepping into new normals and without even noticing, you no longer say it’s a new normal, it just becomes…normal.
Moving on is walking in strength as you take each step, even the tiny ones. Moving on is holding your head up high and not feeling shame, guilt or oppression.
You’re taking your life back, grief is losing it’s grip.
I have no idea how I will deal with his upcoming anniversary, but that’s fine. I don’t need to dread that day. I know I will get through it, like so many before me. I will wake up that morning and trust myself, to choose what is healthy for me to do. Sometimes that’s visiting the grave, placing down some flowers, sometimes it’s not.
Trusting myself to know what I need, is so right, so empowering.
I don’t have to fear grief, fear heartache or fear what others think of me. I know myself, I know my limits, I know my heart.
Is there such a thing?
I have not met one single person who has moved on.
Personally, I don’t think we can. In other words, the theory of ‘just get over it’ doesn’t exist. You will never get over it, you just learn to live with it. Moved on implies that it’s not even a part of you. It will always be a part of you. But, it can be a wonderful part of you. A quiet part, that is snuggled in your heart, for you to treasure and keep privately away from others. Like wearing a pendant, that’s been a family keepsake, worn under your clothes and close to your heart. You know it’s there, you feel it’s movement. You feel it’s coolness when you first wake up and then it goes less noticed as it warms against your skin.
Keep moving on dear grievers, keep taking those steps, keep looking forward. It does become easier.
By Jennifer Wilkinson