In that time it feels like we have grown as a family, and I have grown as a person.
I am still grieving and I will always feel my loss but I am not walling in self pity.
I still dream of Ethan, lovely dreams mainly and wake up and think that I can hear him crying. It always takes a few seconds, sometimes minutes before I realisation sinks in. I always feel exhausted after this happens.
That made me look up dreams during grieving and though I can not say I have had dreams such as these the last passage from this article did make me smile:
"The death of a loved person is probably the most traumatic life event we can experience, worse even than being diagnosed with a terminal illness or going through a divorce. Our life-defending mechanisms shield us from the immediate full impact of our pain by dulling our reactions. We do what must be done in a kind of trance. We act out of love for the deceased person—or duty. We may be surprised that we can function at all given the circumstances. We are in the first phase of grief: shock and numbness.
Then the numbness recedes. Suffering sets in. The second phase of grief is chaotic. We have somewhat recovered from the aftermath of the death, funeral or cremation, and/or memorial services. We’ve gotten more sleep and regained enough energy to agonize. The full force of our loss hits us. We weep or rage, according to our personal style. We obsess over what might have been and what will never be again. Our bodies hurt, our hearts hurt, our minds overflow with sorrow. No matter how many loving people surround us, we are alone in grief. It sometimes seems impossible to bear the loss of our loved person.
What can we do? We thrash around for support. We talk with friends. We are bombarded with advice ranging from the “chin up, life goes on” type to the “time heals all wounds” counsel to the more professional stance of “lean into the pain and it will pass.”
Many of us go into grief support groups, such as those led by hospice, and/or grief counseling. Some of us participate in art therapy grief groups. Some of us turn to religion. We reach out; we struggle to find what eases the aching emptiness. We must act because the alternative is to stop living ourselves, to while away our time on earth in a turbulent fog. We are in the second phase of grief: emotional chaos.
Eventually some of the things we do actually help. At first, just in short bursts of pleasant well being, later in whole days of relative happiness. Misery still sets in again, but not as often, not always as intense. Clinicians call these “grief attacks.” Sooner or later we try new things, new classes, new people, and new activities. We begin to see the possibility, even the probability, of a good life again. Not the same life, not necessarily a better life, but a good one nonetheless. We are moving into the third phase of grief: reintegration.
It will be a different life. Our loved person is still dead; nothing can change that. Reluctantly, we accept that death. But the love we shared continues. It enriches our present. It is a gift for our future. We have changed. We have begun to integrate, to forge a new life. We are more human having gone through the trial of tears all people must eventually suffer. We have greater compassion for others. We have more to give."
I have mentioned before that I have a new normal, that is a different life to the one I had with Ethan. I love the thought that Ethan enriched me, as has everyone we have lost along the way.
Life is for living and enjoying and I intend to do just that and I bring the memories and love with me.