I find it hard to believe that Christopher’s death was almost 18 years ago (March 21, 1996). I sit here writing this and feeling very grateful for the happiness and peace I feel today. I never thought I would be here. The 364th day of the first year, I didn’t want to go to sleep. I couldn’t believe I had been alive a year without Christopher. Now, as 18 years have gone by, I am grateful for the gentle passing of time. Time has allowed me to embrace life again.
It brings tears to my eyes that I am living through every parent’s worst nightmare and sitting here writing about a happy life. 18 years ago, it would have been impossible for me to write this. I was a puddle on the floor and I had no idea how I would make it to the next second…and certainly could not even consider my future without my son, Christopher.
I look at the world with different lenses because of my experiences. Christopher’s murder was a huge part of that. We are all an accumulation of what we learn along our journey. And how we use that experience and knowledge in our everyday lives is a choice. My choice has been to listen more, be kind in every second of the day, treasure my family and friends, and be grateful for even the smallest wonders. I extend myself to care for as much as I can around me. Some days I feel the whole world weight on my shoulders, but I carry it with as much grace as I can.
I have been working with individuals and families since Christopher was murdered. Being able to help people is a blessing. I feel obligated (in the nicest sense) to help people through what I have also experienced. I can be a gentle guide through an extremely difficult time.
My book, “Griefprints – A Practical Guide for Supporting a Grieving Person” http://griefprints.com/griefprints-book/ has also been an extension of my work. It is my calling card, and many people have found it helpful. “Griefprints” sales have raised money for a great organization that I have been involved with since Christopher was murdered, The Compassionate Friends. https://www.compassionatefriends.org I have also used it to raise money for others, such as the Tim Griffith Foundation http://timgriffithfoundation.org/ and Hospice of Eastern Idaho www.hospiceofeasternidaho.com
A HUGE thank you goes out to all my family and friends who have been along the journey with me. You all know who you are — and I am deeply grateful for your love and support. I cannot imagine how I would feel today without the stabilizing love around me. Thank you!