Matt,  Before your death, I was perfectly happy with my life.  I thought being a wife, mom, grandmother and nurse was my total purpose in life.  I was content going through life doing my thing and never gave a second thought to changing the path I was on.  

Then you died……….

My world as I knew it was on a tailspin.  Fractured beyond repair.  I was holding on for dear life trying to catch the pieces as they spun beside me.  My foundation  was crumbling.  Trying to find stable ground was unending as I fought to accept my new reality. 

I never knew that grief and pain would have the potential to change the trajectory of my life, but indeed it did.  

I found myself unable to return to being that Nurse who took care of other mothers precious children.  I no longer had that wall that protected my heart from their heartbreak as they said goodbye to their babies  born too soon.   I feared I would go to pieces with them as I now understood this horrific pain..

So I withdrew from life.  I was the one who needed care and time to sort out what my soul could handle.  I felt lost and alone.  

It’s funny looking back I now understand how the pain one suffers leads the way to helping others through the same pain.  I get that the loss I’ve experienced is not mine to shelter but it’s mine to share as so many others walk this path .

It continues to surprise me how out of horrible pain comes strength.  I never knew I could be fearless and bold when speaking to others about your struggles in life.  I never saw myself an advocate for Substance Use Disease and the treatment required to save lives.  

I never saw myself as a published author of the book that shares my grief with the world.  I never saw myself as the leader of a support group for moms who have heard the words “ your child died from an overdose”.  

Today I am surrounded by women who like me have used their grief to offer hope and compassion to so many others in our club.  This club is not a popular one.  It’s not a club members want any part of, but this is our reality.  

I don’t want to be this me.  I was to return to the past, before your death and live life according to my terms.  I want to return to the before part of my life as now it has become the after.  Life is now split in two parts.  

During my journey I’ve come to realize there is no going back to the life I desire.  The path is a one way street.  The future is not the one I anticipated but it’s the only one I’ve got.  💜