it is also the exact time that my heart shattered into a million pieces, our lives forever changed and we became part of a club where membership is not sought.
cooper's death was unexpected and caught every one of guard, including the cardiac team. but there was part of me that knew, knew he would only be on earth for a short time. i don't know how i knew, call it a mother's intuition, or a gut feeling.
everything after 10:21 am was a blur, yet i remember every single detail of the events as the unfolded. i was numb. i didn't know i could experience hurt so deep and so raw. i didn't know how i was going to put one foot in front of the other, or how i was going to find joy again. hell, all i wanted to do was crawl in a deep dark hole and never ever come out.
but here i am a year later and this is what i know:
** my heart has mended, but will never heal completely. it will always be scarred.
** the ache is still there, but it's not constant. it ebbs and flows, a characteristic of grief.
**losing cooper has become a part of who i am, but his loss does not define me.
** moving through grief is a choice i make every single day. i had two choices, let it cripple me for the rest of my life or do the hard work to heal. i chose the latter.
** even though cooper is not here, i have a relationship with him that is real and it is strong. i feel his presence daily.
** my relationship with my precious husband is stronger than ever. i love him more than i thought possible. it is his love that saves me every single day.
** i am thankful for my dear friends and family that have allowed me to feel whatever i needed to feel, whenever i needed to feel it. this played a critical role in my healing.
** the kindness and support of strangers continues to amaze me, whether through creating cooper birds, reading the words i write or leaving words of encouragement. i cherish it all.
** that the ultimate way to honor cooper is to continue to live, find joy, treasure the little things and give him a little brother to watch over.
and finally, i will be a better mother, wife, friend and daughter because of the love i have for cooper.