Friday, April 8, 2011

"Moving On" vs. "Moving Forward"

There is a great sense of guilt that can often accompany smiles, laughter, and celebration after you have lost a child (at any age), there is that feeling that you are somehow disrespecting your angel by feeling happiness again, that somehow you have "moved on" and left your angels memory behind. What is important to remember is that there is a difference between "moving on" and "moving forward." So often we are told to "just move on" after we lose a baby, but that is impossible, no matter how small that child was when we lost them, they will always carry a piece of our heart, they are a part of us, and we CANNOT and WILL NOT forget them. What is possible is "moving forward" into a new normal, life will never be what it was before, it can't be, but you can find peace in a new normal. That new normal will contain days of sadness and tears, but it is also okay to smile, to laugh, to celebrate even. This happiness does not mean we have forgotten our child, or that we do not still grieve the loss of them, what it means is that our child's memory has meshed into the story of our lives, they have become a (normal) part of who we are. So when you find yourself laughing or smiling after, do not allow yourself to be overcome with guilt, but rather continue smiling knowing that you have found that new normal that is essential to survive heartache.

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