First of all, I wanted to give everyone an update on the money we raised for my sweet friend, Amy, who lost her husband tragically at the end of November (for the record, November sucks). In the month of December, we raised $5,582.72!!!! I will continue to leave the Paypal donate button up until my revenue check is paid for December (it's usually two months behind), so if anyone wanted to make a donation and wasn't able to, you still have a chance. I'm so incredibly thankful for the generosity of others, even complete strangers, who were willing to take the time to help. It gives me hope and reminds me of how much good is still left in the world.
Lately, I've really needed the reminder.
I always admire people who can say they live life with no regrets. Maybe I'm a little cynical, but I don't believe most people have no regrets from their past. I sure do. There are a lot of things I wish I could go back and do differently. But I know those are the things that make us who we are, help shape us into the people we become.
After coming out of intense grief, one of the few things it teaches me is to move forward with no regrets. I'm not so naive to think I won't make mistakes or forget to embrace life - I'm human. But I have loved and lost and I don't like wasting time in this life not using it to let the people around me know how much I love them. Perhaps if I lose someone I love again, I'll never feel like I said enough, did enough, embraced enough....but I will keep trying.
I love that starting a new year brings about hope for so many people. A hope for change, a hope for something new. So many possibilities on the horizon for the year that lies ahead. For those who are in suffering, though, grief can be a reminder that the world moves forward while theirs is ending, and they have to drag over into a new year kicking and screaming. Two years ago, I couldn't escape the horror I felt watching time tick into a year that Jeremy would never see. I cried myself to sleep long before midnight because I couldn't bare the thought of celebrating....and I prayed I wouldn't have to see the year either. What a year can change. Last year, I went on a first date palms sweaty and heart racing, so unsure of where my life was headed....but I had hope. This year, I will do my best to pay that hope forward by living with no regret. Of loving when I know I should, of speaking up when I feel the need, or keeping my mouth shut when it's necessary, of soaking up every day moments with my children, of putting myself and my health as a priority, of loving every bit of the second chance I've been given.....no regrets.
This is not an easy task. I'm constantly in shock by the hurt that few people can cause. Some of you have seen the comments that have come through on my blog - hurtful, accusing, demeaning. I don't post them anymore, as they have gotten progressively worse, and I refuse to give them the satisfaction. In fact, they don't upset me anymore because there is no weight in them for me. The only upsetting piece is that it's someone I know. I just feel pity for people who live in such pain that they feel the need to impose the pain and hurt and misunderstanding onto others....especially others who have already been through so much (and I'm not just talking about me here.) I've heard the ridiculous things that people have said to widows, you can add to that the things people try to tell that same widow when she tries to date or remarry....it's enough to make anyone go mad!
I will no longer tolerate such negativity to weigh me down. I'm human, and words can be especially hurtful, but I lived through my worst hell, what can one person's opinion really do to me? Not any more pain than I've already suffered. This year, I move forward. No regrets. Leaving behind my mistakes, but bringing the lessons I've learned from them and the good pieces along with me.
The life lessons I've learned from grief will not be in vain.