It has been quite a while since I wrote on this blog. My last entry was full of hope and looking forward and since then, life happened as it always does.
There have been moments when I wanted to erase myself from the world. When I wanted to give up, to just vanish, to just be no more.
My kids lost their father, their aunt and their grandfather. All within a short span of time. I lost a husband, a beloved sister and a father.
How do you write about such things? How do you help your children cope with loss when some days feel like a never-ending dream with empty spaces?
I am writing in this space because I need to remind myself that the journey has also had its beautiful moments. I need to commemorate the fact that we are here now and that my children are in a much better space than we were a year ago. I am in a much better space than I was in the preceding months of this year. I am able to sit down and write and I am able to raise my head and look to the future again.
Sometimes, I will encounter a friend or an acquaintance who hasn’t heard about our past 21 months.
How do you answer the question “How are you doing?”
I am doing as well as I can and coping as best as I can. In these past months it has meant not being on social media. It has meant limiting everything that requires energy. It has meant letting go of so many things.
I have sometimes wondered if I will be able to write again. Words seem meaningless sometimes. But here I am, writing words. I guess, this is how it is. Because I live so much in words, it won’t be real if I don’t write it.
One Sunday evening before going to bed, my youngest son told me how much he missed his father.
“I know,” I said to him. “I know exactly how you feel.”
I also know what it’s like to have to miss a father.
Moving forward means acknowledging loss and the pain of loss.
The Dutch have a great way of expressing the moment of acknowledgment: stilstaan.
A minute of silence. A moment of pondering. A time when everything falls still.
Our time has started up again. Slow small steps. We are moving forward.