Four years. It is how long we take to get through high school. Through college (that is the plan for most parents!)
Medical school is four years.
I should know how four years should feel. I have done four year tasks many times.
These four years have been painful and slow with my grieving.
The first year is all fresh with firsts – first Christmas, first Thanksgiving, first birthday. The Angelversary. You struggle to focus, you are exhausted.
The second year is horrible. It stings and all the milestone days come again and you are reminded he is not coming home. You are still exhausted. Wake, rinse, repeat.
For me the third year was the year of figuring out balance. How to still function as a full time pediatrician, mom and wife yet still honor my need to grieve.
Fourth year? My grief is still here but the need to stay current with the daily changes in a pandemic world keep me more as a doctor and less as a grieving mom. This world is getting harder for those struggling with loss, addiction, depression and anxiety. I have seen so much anxiety in my pediatric population.
I honor Nolan today, his fourth Angelversary.
I really don’t want to cry all day. I don’t have time for that. Life goes on. This day will come again and again. How many more I will have to live through I do not know. I would rather put my energy and grief today into my purpose – why I am supposed to be here.