With the first year after Joshua's death coming to an end, I was unprepared for one of the emotions that has come along with the year coming to a close.
Relief seems to be a feeling that I am trying to get used to.
Relief as I realize that we have survived a year of this.
Relief that we've made it through all of the "firsts" without him.
Relief that I KNOW that God is near and has never left my side.
Relief that I'm not facing yet another birthday in the near future without him. His birthday was by far the hardest milestone for me to reach. There is just something totally unnatural about celebrating a birthday when the birthday boy is dead.
I've approached this week with dread, but so far, it's not been as bad as I expected it. Sure there have been moments of complete sadness. There have been moments when I wish that this week held no significance in our lives other than Caleb's first parent teacher conference at school.
I'm not sure how Thursday will be. I'm not sure how tomorrow will be- remembering my last day with Joshua and then reliving the moments when he died. Those are burdens that I carry alone- I was by myself with him when he died, Shane on his way down to Indianpolis, but couldn't get there fast enough.
I'm not sure how it will be watching my husband grieve- this day seems to be much harder for him than for me (the exact opposite with Joshua's birthday- that was hard for me and easier for him.)
Relief is not an emotion that I have typically associated with grief, but this week, along with the sadness and pain, it is a very real feeling that is washing over me.
We have survived. We will continue to survive. The first year is over.
Sweet, sweet relief.