I miss his smile. It was a gift he had share with me to hold in my memories. It’s been almost four years since I saw him smile in person. Sometimes I forget to remember those moments because he was so sick near the end that he didn’t have the energy to smile. It wouldn’t help him if I showed my sorrow so I made sure to smile for the both of us. When Clayton passed away I lost his smile and my own. My world got dimmer.
I’m spending this year looking back at my blogs in reflection, not to revel in the hurt or reinforce the pain but to remember where I was and how far I’ve come. I’m grateful. I’m grateful for my inner strength and grateful for my perseverance. It’s become a realization that every time someone stops smiling the world gets darker. So I do my very best to keep moving forward and not let the negatives surround me. I can impact the lives of others from the lessons I’ve learned growing through grief. When all else has felt like it’s failed I know I can just stop and smile. I can smile at my memories. I can smile at the good in my life. I can smile back at me with a sense of self-comfort that I’m doing the best I can and, if I’m having trouble, I just close my eyes and borrow Clayton’s smile.
Four years ago was the first Valentine’s without him. Rereading my blog from 2018 brings me right back to my lost loves of the past except the hurt from 2018 is no longer there. Losing Clayton awoke sleeping emotions from further back. Since then, I have faced the trauma with care and conviction to find that I could create my own freedom by accepting my grief and releasing it to the universe. This year I’m gifted with a new love just 4 years later because I stopped expecting to get my expectations.
If I remember that I have the power to create light within myself by starting to smile then I can assure myself to keep going because there are smiles waiting for me in my future. If everyone just chose to smile more, we’d collectively make the world a brighter place.
“Every time someone stops smiling the world gets darker. Don’t give in! We need you…Smile.”
A Hallmark Heartbreak Kind of Holiday – February 9, 2018
My birthday was hard. Thanksgiving was hard. Christmas and New Years were both hard. Yet it is the “Hallmark Holiday” that seems to burn more than build the wave of sadness.
Every Valentine’s Day growing up, I wrote out cards and put them in classmates construction paper mailboxes but only for the girls. Life is different now and kids can like whomever they like but I had to give Valentine’s to Allison when I really wanted to give it to Andy. Either way, all I wanted growing up was to find that one Valentine.
This is the first sweetheart holiday without Tin. I’m 2 months away from the anniversary of his death. Am I the only person that wants to walk into the grocery store, dump all the Valentine cards on the floor, throw boxes of chocolates and stomp on every flower in sight? I couldn’t give Andy a Valentine in high school and now I can’t give Tin one now. I feel like I’m a heartbroken teenager all over again…