How Do You Accept the Unthinkable?
It has meant so much to me to feel your steady presence and support over the past two months since my son Alex died. I want to thank you for reaching out to me. I’m not feeling especially sociable yet but I’ve missed hanging out at Life, for instance and I need to come back. If it’s okay with you I’ll run this post and then have some guests host for a time, while I sit at the end of the porch, being here and listening to the conversation. I can’t promise I’ll be very engaged in it, at least at first. Just being around you, I believe and hope, will help me to find my way back.
I’ve never been at all good at “acceptance”. I still find it so hard to believe Alex is never coming home again. At first, I wanted to die too. I couldn’t imagine how I would live out the rest of my life without Alex. It hurts beyond all telling.
People talk about “getting through” something like this but I don’t think it works that way. It’s not like scaling a mountain and finding everything is okay when you get to the other side. This isn’t something you get through. It’s something that changes you.
That it changes you is something outside of your control but I believe you do have the power to choose how it changes you. I refuse to become a diminished version of myself (at least not forever). I vehemently deny the level of grief that threatens to paralyze me while simultaneously I accept the one thing I seem able to accept: the process of grieving.
I want to be a testament to my son; blessed by his precious twenty-three-year presence in my life rather than broken because he left so soon. When I find myself in the lowest ebbs of my grief I remind myself of what a privilege it was for me to spend all those wonderful years as the mother of Alex Gosselin.
Do you believe it is possible to cultivate the kind of strength needed to deal with times like this or do you think it’s times like this that breed that kind of strength? How do you accept the unthinkable in your life?