It’s been a few days since I’ve written, one of the longer stretches I’ve gone without writing since I started this blog almost a month after Hudson died. I’m not sure why—perhaps some exhaustion after last week, or nothing really new to say, or just no major inspiration to write. But in that time, I’ve been thinking a lot about my posts from last Wednesday and Thursday, the first of which seemed so despairing, the second taking step back from that and trying to fill in the spaces around it. I talked to Jess the next day and (as usual) she shed some light on something important for me. She said that if all she knew about how I was doing was from reading the blog, she would have a very different picture of how I was than she does, but since she and I talk and email regularly, she has a much fuller sense of things, and therefore worries less.
I had to think about that for a moment. No, I had to think about it for a while. Why am I giving such an incomplete picture here on my blog of how I am? Yes, the blog is primarily a space to express and process my grief, but part of my original intent was also to continue to share and honor Hudson’s spirit by embracing the lesson of One Good Thing. Why am I so reluctant to share happiness and joy here whenever I find them? I realize that I have certainly done that, but honestly, I have great difficulty sharing posts that do not somehow mention or allude to Hudson. Anytime I find myself writing a post that does not somehow include her, I backtrack and see if there is a way to fit her in to the picture of that particular writing.
Looking back over the last week, I see that these things are all related, and they connect to feelings I have written about many times here before. It is so hard to recognize and embrace happiness without feeling like I am letting go of Hudson somehow—the grief keeps me so intimately connected to her that I don’t want to let go of it. What’s more, I worry that if I don’t speak my grief every time I write here, then people will start to forget about it, and in turn, and much worse, forget about her. I know this sounds crazy, but on those days when I do share good news here, I almost dread reading people’s inevitably enthusiastic and positive responses, because to me, those are the days that give such an incomplete picture of what is going on with me. And worst of all, I fear that when Jackson arrives, joyous event that it will certainly be, some people will assume that we are all better, that we are whole again, that our family is complete, and that we should now move on. And while I have absolute faith that Jackson’s birth will help us continue to heal from our devastating loss in a much different way than we have been able to until now, I also have absolute confidence that we will never be all better, that we will never be whole, that our family will never be complete, and that we will never “move on."
But I know in my heart that there is a middle road here. In fact, the middle road is what One Good Thing is all about. Yes, sometimes, even often, terrible things happen, good people suffer for reasons that no one will ever understand, and lives are changed irrevocably, as ours have been. But somewhere, seemingly buried in the rubble of earth-shattering tragedy, there remains hope, goodness, love, beauty, and yes, even joy, just waiting to be noticed, retrieved, embraced, and celebrated. It is only when we fail to perceive these gifts, when we allow ourselves to be blinded by our own sorrow and grief, that true despair and hopelessness set in. So in the spirit of Hudson’s One Good Thing, I am going to try harder to cherish what is, to keep digging through the rubble to find the many gifts that still remain obscured from my sight there, and most importantly, to embrace and celebrate those gifts here and elsewhere. I owe that to my sweet Hudson, to Jackson, to Ed, to everyone who has supported us through this awful time, and to myself.
This morning, many of my Facebook friends were posting quotes from Dr. King in honor of this day we set aside to remember his legacy. I wondered what Dr. King might have to say to me today. And I found this, so perfectly in tune with this post I was already planning to write:
If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you to go on in spite of all. And so today I still have a dream.