taking back my happiness

October 19th has come and gone.  Another year gone by.  My little Gabe-man would be 4 years old now.  I can’t believe it.

I still miss him (and Felix) every day.  I see the holes in our daily life and it hurts.  I’ve been struggling over the last year with the fact that I haven’t “done” anything in their memory.  I don’t have a foundation, I don’t make memory kits, I haven’t written a book, I haven’t held a memory walk.  I try to remind myself that I have affected the lives of the people immediately around me.  And that is good.

We went as a family to the cemetery and had our birthday cupcakes, as is now our tradition, and the kids even sang Happy Birthday to him (which nearly destroyed me – sweet and sad entwined).  It was a pretty “typical” birthday.

This year was also different.  This year I did something for me.  Something “selfish.”  And that was good, too.

Ever since Gabe’s death I have not felt like singing.  At all.  It’s one of the things I love most and the grief just stole it away from me.  I couldn’t think about singing in front of people – I knew I wouldn’t be able to without breaking down into tears.  I just didn’t feel like it.  How could I do something that brought me so much joy when I had suffered so much pain?

Last year my sisters were asked if they would like to put on a Cabaret at the German club we’re a part of.  They were so excited and they asked me to be in it.  I was SO excited!  Then I found out what day it was going to be.  Saturday, October 19th.  Really?  I wasn’t thrilled to hear that.  But, I thought, you’ll be fine.  As time went on, however, I began to question myself.  Could I really do it?  Could I do it that day?

We started rehearsals in September.  I practiced alone in the car and I practiced at home.  I began to feel a little more confident.  I told myself that I was going to be fine.  I really began to feel like I had been cheated out of some happiness and got “mad” about it.  I decided I was going to take back my happiness that night.

And I did.  I not only sang in the show… I emceed.  I had a fabulous time and felt great about it.  It was still hard not to cry (Who wouldn’t?  One of the solos I did was “Over the Rainbow!”) but I made it.  I got so many compliments and so much encouragement and it was great.  In fact, I’ve now rejoined the women’s choir and I’m hopeful that we’ll be asked to do another Cabaret someday.

I know that my baby boys would be proud of me for not letting the grief get the best of me anymore.  I really feel like this was a big step for me.  I can feel that something broke free that night.  I’m going to hang on to that feeling moving forward and see where it takes me.


What have you struggled with in your journey?  Do you feel like your joy has been stolen?  Are there things you once enjoyed that you wish you could enjoy again?  Please add a comment and let’s talk about it!

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