by Elise Kowalski
Truth…time alone does not heal. If anything, time in the beginning just made me feel worse and worse as I was getting farther and farther away from the time when Luke was still physically here. Time was my enemy and I prayed every night to have the clock turned back and to wake up before the day of Luke’s accident and almost instant passing. Slowly I came to terms with the fact that it was not going to happen…that Luke was not coming back and my life would never be what it was. I was so incredibly angry at life…for being life.
I knew I wasn’t the first person to have a young child pass and I knew I wasn’t going to be the last but I still wondered “why me?…why my life?”. And so I lived in misery hating every moment of my life even while caring for my newborn son, Benjamin. I know that sounds completely awful but I honestly felt like I somehow traded one child for another since Benjamin was born only 11 weeks before Luke moved on to his Heavenly Home. I had one child enter my life and the other exit in less than 3 months time and that was beyond a shock to my system. For over 5 years, I was Luke’s mama and that was my entire sole/soul identity. Then I had such a short time to get used to being a mom of two and then that was just swept right out from underneath me and I was back to one child, but not one who could talk and engage with me and give me hugs and kisses. Oh how I missed Luke’s immense affection. He was amazingly loving and I have since said that he had to pack an entire lifetime’s worth of hugs and kisses into only 5 years and he seriously did it! So once he was physically gone, all I could see was that all that love was taken from me.
As I have grown and transformed the past 3.5+ years, I now look at that very differently. I now know that his love was not taken from me and that I can still feel his love every single day. I also have extreme gratitude for the time I did get to have with him in this earth life and that he was such an incredibly loving child. I feel beyond lucky that he was, and still is, mine forever. I realize that if you are a bereaved parent, you probably don’t feel lucky in any way. I get that, I really do. For the longest time, I wondered why I wasn’t “blessed” enough to “keep” my child. Why was my family torn apart? Why me? Eventually I came to the conclusion that asking “why?” does absolutely no good because even if I did find out the answer, it still would never be a good enough reason. So where do you go if you no longer ask “why?” You can say “okay, now what?” What do I do now that my life looks so completely different than I thought it was going to look? How can I keep going for my other child(ren) and/or family members who need me and love me?
At first I just pretended (quite poorly), that I would just live life to make my youngest son relatively happy and give him as good of a life as I could with the least amount of social engagement. It was okay since he was a young baby but as he grew, I had to grow as well. Interestingly, both my boys have forced me to grow quite radically but in very different ways. I had to be present in order to be a good mommy to Benjamin and I had to be present in order to foster my continued connection with Luke in Spirit. In the back of my mind, I always remembered my Mom (Luke’s Grammy) telling me how Luke would always tell her how good of a mama I was and how I cared for him so well (quite an odd thing for a 4/5 year old to say, right?!?). So I knew that I had to push forward and do what Luke would want me to do and care for his beloved baby brother as well as I cared for him. It was a struggle but I poured all my love for Luke right into Benjamin and believe that is how he thrived those first years even when I was so overwhelmingly filled with sorrow and misery. Benjamin made me smile and laugh of course while he was awake as all babies do (for which I am so grateful for) but when he was napping and asleep at night, all my thoughts were of missing Luke and sobbing continuously. I just knew I had to find him…I had to find my sweet beautiful boy Luke.
That is where my journey toward peace and choosing life again began. No, time did not do this work…I had to do the work. I have done an incredible amount of soul searching, active grief work including questioning every belief I ever held, research about the afterlife, meditation, as well as learning how to raise my vibration and consciousness to connect with Luke in the spiritual realm. And the most important was coming to Trust…trust that I am being gently held, supported, guided, and loved in each and every moment of this difficult journey.
I know without a doubt I was not put on this planet to suffer (and neither were you) and that having my child die in my arms does not have to equal a life of continuous pain and sorrow. No, I did not come to suffer and Luke would not want me to suffer. He has “shown” himself to me in countless ways and walks beside me every day. Now I have a very different view of time and it is no longer the enemy. I have come to realize that this human earth life is a blink compared to what is to come. And when it is my time to cross, Luke’s face will be the first I see and I want to see it full of joy, love, and pride at his amazing mama. His shining light is illuminating my path and I hope to use that light to help the journey of my fellow grieving parents.
Time alone does not heal but choosing life can. My hope and prayer is that you can begin (or continue) to choose life and shine your light as your child’s light shines through you. Shine the light and feel the love to let it move you forward on your journey until you meet your precious child again. Sending my love out to all who need it today.
The author of this post Elise Kowalski is a bereaved mum and the creator of the blog “Love from Luke“. “I hope my Love from Luke can flow from him through me to provide comfort and the realization that our children are still shining lights in our daily lives. They are actively present, sending signs of their love, and encouraging us to continue with healing steps as we move forward in life with them by our side in Spirit. Let us honor the lives of our beloved children by making their legacies be full of joy instead of sorrow. Let the continuing love, for our children and from our children, fuel us forward on our path until we meet again.”