Navigating new lifeMichelle Jeffreys
The earlier part of the year before Zoe died I had separated from my ex husband, I had begun a new relationship, I was navigating what I thought was my new life at the time. This in itself was all difficult and frightening. My relationship with my now husband was in the early stages of the unknown, I was still separated and working out a divorce, while raising two teenagers the best I could, and working a full time job. Not a hardship by any means, just life and a life that many people find themselves encountering.
When Zoe died everything that was going on stopped. Nothing prior to this mattered anymore. The divorce didn’t matter, my new relationship didn’t matter, work, health NOTHING! You are a zombie making it through each day the best that you can. Here I am, my child has just been murdered, now I have to face grieving her, honoring her, defending her and finding justice for her. But, I am still a mother to a teenage son who is grieving the loss of his only sister, who is still grieving his parents divorce and who is lost, just completely lost.
I won’t even sit here on a throne and tell you that I was the best mother, I was the best mother I knew how to be given the circumstances. A mother who is human and fragile and weak, but also strong, independent and able. As I navigated this new world that had been thrown at me, I faced new challenges every day. Highs and lows with waves of depression, anxiety and fight or flight mode. Trying to keep it all together while crumbling inside everyday. My current husband is my rock! He never faltered, he never ran away. He held my hand and wiped my tears, he picked up where no one else could. I honestly could not have made it through this if he had not been my anchor.
They same time heals; and this is slightly true. I don’t believe that you will ever heal completely but you will encounter different stages of healing, that will help you grow and navigate this new foreign land you now live in. I have worked very hard with my son to be patient and available to his needs in the hopes to mend our relationship and to help him in his journey to healing. Time has definitely helped our relationship mend and grow, and I feel we are in a really good place now.
Two years after Zoe died, I married my husband and we had another child. This new found happiness tore me apart inside, for how could I ever be happy again?! How could I bring a child into this world, love and nurture that child after I lost my child. How could I be happy?! So many emotions arose from the new marriage, the new baby. Would my son accept this? How would this make him feel? So many questions, so many uncertainties and so much fear. I remember the highs and lows of being pregnant and knowing that this was a miracle in so many ways. This new child would bring joy where there was no longer joy, this new child would keep me busy and keep my mind actively in the positive. This was a gift, I believe this was a gift from Zoe to help me endure the loss of her. When I found out that I was having another girl, I knew for sure that this was a gift from her, but I also felt an overwhelming sense of sadness. How could I ever love another girl after losing mine. Nine months of unknown thoughts and feelings, trying to accept what was to come.
Well she arrived and has done exactly what I said. She keeps me busy everyday, she provides the joy that was taken away. She is her own person with her own personality, yet she was also blessed with many of her sisters qualities to give me daily reminders that Zoe is still around and watching us all. She has helped me to navigate this new life, grieving the loss of her sister and mending the relationship with her brother and I. She has become the glue that this family needed to survive the tragic loss of our Zoe.