"There is life after loss. There is life after loss. There is life after loss." I replayed that phrase in my mind over and over again. Why did people continue to tell me that? Did they think it was helping? How harsh did that sound? "Let me tell you, once you get through the first year- life will be easier." Where were all these phrases coming from? Ok...breathe...maybe I wasn't hearing them right, maybe something was seriously wrong with me because I didn't get it. Bentley had just DIED and everyone kept telling me that life will get better or there was a reason for my pain. The phrases just kept coming.
I realized no body meant to hurt. I don't think I even fully processed what was even said. I know I questioned was I feeling normal because it seemed like everyone kept telling me it'll be okay or life gets better and those people , they stood in my shoes one day too. I think I just mustered through. I acknowledged that maybe one day life would get better, but as time went on, I wondered what life are these people living. Two months go by, and the phrase resurfaces as I take a pregnancy test and it's positive. 6 months later... Chase was born alive screaming and breathing and that phrase came back again. Yes, maybe I began to understand the phrase "there is life after loss." I received a glimpse. That's just one example. We are 3 and half years from Bentley's death. Has life gotten better? No, we have just learned to live without his physical presence.
There is indeed life after loss. In those beginning days, I remember crying and kicking and fighting to begin each day. I don't have that every day now. Does that mean I've stopped loving my Bentley? Absolutely not! I have learned that very phrase that I hated. There is life after loss. It doesn't mean our loss is any less. We just carry it. We walk each day remembering our babies. We grow in our grief. We laugh and we cry. We pick up our feet and we take one step at a time. And, we do it because even though this life-- it is nothing like we imagined it to be-- it is OUR life. It is our babies life. And we are living not after our loss but we are living through our loss. We are shining lights into places we never knew possible.
I never knew the role that my life would take in so many others when I said hello and goodbye to Bentley. My life would not have brought me to so many people or experiences. If I could bring Bentley back, of course, I would choose him to be with me, but I know not that death was God's purpose for his life. God's purpose for Bentley's life was to bring life through death into so many others.
If you notice the key words here are not "after" but it is "through". God walks us through our valleys and over our victories. He didn't say after Bentley dies I will do great things. He said through Bentley's life we will be blessed. We will be blessed from each person we encounter through his life.
I am proud to be Bentley's mom. I am proud that I realized that there is life through our loss of Bentley.