Monday, September 23 was the first day of autumn. It was also my first day at a new job. I started working exactly 1 year and 2 days after leaving my last job. Half the year I spent pregnant; half the year I spent mourning. Now it is time for a new season.
It is bitter sweet to start working again. It feels so good to have a purpose and a to-do list and a schedule again. I feel proud of myself for actually changing careers to something less stressful and more meaningful. My new job is at a hospitality house called SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals. It is a place where patients and their families can stay while undergoing treatment. I help manage the volunteers who make the house run smoothly. I’ve been volunteering at the Family House for a few months now, and I am so inspired by the families who seem to always have hope and appreciation no matter their circumstances. This place has helped me heal, and I am honored to work there now.
It is bitter, though, to be moving forward from this season of mourning. I know my grief isn’t over, but I also know it will not be the same. I won’t have the hours to contemplate, read, journal, and just remember Ginny like I have over these past months. I know I have to keep moving forward, but it is hard.
I don’t want to forget her. I don’t want to forget anything about our time with her or mourning her. People tell me I will always remember her, and I know that is true in some respects. But I know I will forget some of what I’ve learned and how I feel and what it was like; I know I already have. That breaks my heart. I feel like I’m moving away from her. I don’t want to carry this heavy burden of grief everywhere, but I don’t want to let it go. It’s what I have of her.
This time of mourning has been painful but beautiful for me. I feel so blessed that I have had this time. Most people don’t get this, including Daniel. I’ve learned so much, and I’ve grown closer to God. This is what motherhood has been for me.
I don’t want to think back on this season and only think of the pain. I don’t want it to be hard to remember. In the future, I don’t want to categorize it as “that dark time”. Because it hasn’t been dark. It has been life-changing and life-giving and intense. I want to think back on this season with love. I want to think of our sweet Ginny’s life, not just our loss. I don’t know how to preserve memories the way I want to. I’m hoping my writing will help. It seems strange to not want to forget a painful time, but I know those who lost will understand.
In this new season I am trying to be deliberate about a few things. I want to avoid getting caught in the distraction of busyness. I want to give myself the time and space to continue to mourn. I want to recognize and remember the lessons I’ve learned through suffering. But most of all, I want to remember Ginny. I don’t want her to fade into our history. Help us remember her – bring her up when you are around us. Let us know if you think of her. I will move forward, but she’ll stay in my heart.