‘You’ve changed me. Entirely, wholly, irrevocably.’ – Lexi Behrndt
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down over the course of the last two weeks and attempted to write my feelings. I can’t tell you, because I’ve lost count.
I tried on Kamren’s first birthday, with the intention of writing some profound and even poetic letter to him. But then I allowed myself to waste away too much of that day planning his balloon release. And then I allowed myself to soak in the love that was given to me so freely that day.
From the moment I woke up on the 22nd, at the exact moment Kam was pulled out of me no less, I was enveloped with so much love. And my son was honored and celebrated so fiercely, in so many different places around the world.
And so it was that I gave myself permission to not write down a damn thing.
When I came back to Kansas the day before Christmas Eve, I busied myself re-cleaning my house before driving down to my parents. The same house that I spent hours cleaning the night before I left for Tampa.
And so it was I gave myself permission to put off writing for another day, to give me time to make it out to my parent’s farm before the sun was all but gone.
Christmas Eve came and went, spent mostly lounging around with all my siblings, who coincidentally have not all been in the same place together since Kamren’s passing. And so I was able to reconcile the fact that no writing occurred due to the nature of how my time was physically spent. I was okay with that.
Then Christmas morning rolled around, and I was honestly surprised I woke up to see that day. If you would’ve asked me Jan 8th or the few months thereafter, I would have told you that I had no intention of being around, or alive to see this holiday season.
Christmas day was as good as it possibly could have been, all things considered. Kam was acknowledged with a partially filled stocking hung up next to mine over the red brick fireplace. I spent a majority of that morning terrified that I would break in the middle of my nieces opening up gift after gift, knowing that I will never get to see that same look of excitement on Kam’s face as he tears another piece of reindeer paper away.
And so it was I gave myself permission to not think, or write that day. That seemed like the least, smallest gift I could give to myself.
And so it was.
After Christmas and coming back to Wichita and work, I promised myself that I would sit down and write. Anything. I didn’t even care what it would be. Just more than the three to ten words of a Facebook status update.
But then the week was hectic, and work was exhausting.
I also rationalized that it wouldn’t really make sense to write this profound entry about surviving the holidays, when the New Year was still largely looming.
So every time I would sit down and write a few words, inevitably hitting the delete key until it was once again a very blank page, seemed like less of a failure. I would just save it until after New Year’s Eve, and the last big holiday celebration of 2015.
And before I knew it, Friday was here and the deadline I’d set for myself stood mockingly in front of me. Luckily my very best friend and her daughters drove up for the night, so my plans got converted into dinner and a few beers at midnight while we cyber-creeped both of our exes/baby daddies.
But yet and still, New Years Day would present a full day of opportunity to sit my ass down somewhere and write.
A perfect opportunity to make good on myself.
Except, then I decided to binge watch the entire docuseries Making of a Murderer on Netflix.
Yep, from 2pm to 1230am on Jan 2nd, that is what I did.
Let me just stop to say, if you have not watched this, you need to! Like right now. It’s incredibly addictive, and infuriating when you watch it all unfold beginning to end. I did attempt to stop a couple of times yesterday to begin writing, but I got so wrapped up in Steven Avery’s story that I just couldn’t. It literally turned from me working on this page, to me Googling him and seeing what has occurred since the documentary stopped filming.
And so I gave myself permission to soak in all of the rawness that was coming across my television for 10 hours, and climb into bed unapologetically exhausted from the rollercoaster of emotions that spurred from my all day binge.
But today, today just felt different.
For what reason I’m not actually sure. But today, after straightening up my house, throwing chicken in the crock pot for dinner, going grocery shopping for the week, and getting a much needed mani/pedi, I finally felt inspired. To write. To be. To put my fears, frustrations, and hopes for 2016 down in print.
So here I am.
And let me just say I’ve spent countless hours reading through Facebook and other bereaved parent’s blogs, trying to reconcile all of my feelings over the past month.
So here it is.
I’m no longer a fan of the holidays. I will not apologize for that. I don’t think that I’ll ever care about Christmas again honestly. Or New Years. Or any other day in between that. I’m not asking you to understand, and honestly I don’t care whether you do or not.
Maybe that will change when I have more children. Maybe it won’t. Either way, I will never put pressure on myself to participate in something that no longer brings me joy. And as it currently stands, these days just do not bring that to me.
I can confidently say that I am both ready and hopeful for 2016 in general.
I am ready to continue progressing in my life, and continuing to give my soul the nourishment that it needs to survive these days ahead. I pray that includes fulfillment at work, new beginnings in my personal life, and a pure happiness within myself.
With all of that being said, I am giving myself permission to do any and everything that brings me peace.
I’m also giving myself permission to let go of all of the things and people that don’t, without apology.
So goodbye to 2015, both the very best and very worst year of my life.
Here’s to 2016 and carrying Kamren with me every step of the way.