For all accounts and purposes I am a strong woman. I have been through some extraordinary situations and lived to tell about them. And the telling has been my mission for the last six months. Sharing my story, educating fellow child-loss survivors about meditation, energy and intuition. I preach about connecting with your child after they have crossed over. I preach about what it looks like and feels like and how it can help you feel your way through the unimaginable loss you’ve experienced. The problem is in the preaching, I forgot the practice.

I guess I didn’t forget so much as I didn’t make the time. So full of enthusiasm for the understanding of my soul’s mission I went in, guns blazing. I was ready to serve and protect other mothers, giving them the tools they needed to survive. I’ve done free coaching, free newsletters, free workshops, free speaking engagements, free writing all for the greater good. I have been happily busy since my ah-ha moment six months ago.

As centered, grounded and whole as I feel on a daily basis there is nothing, and I mean nothing, that can shake me like a visit from my dead son in a dream.

There was no rhyme or reason to Anthony’s visit last night. No anniversary. No traumatic trigger. It was just an average Monday night. I drank some wine, I watched Footloose (the original) and went to bed. Cut to me sweating, crying and forcing my eyes to stay closed because I didn’t want to wake up.

When you visit a counselor, doctor or psychologist about your depression, they like to ask if you have had suicidal thoughts. They ask this often. Each time I pause. As I pause I wonder if I am failing the test based on how long I am quiet. 1-2 seconds means I’ve thought about it. 3-5 seconds means I’ve attempted. Do they have a ratings scale for the amount of time it takes me to answer the question?

I have never ever wanted to actively take my own life. But on a morning like today I most certainly do not want to wake up. Does that qualify as suicide? I suppose I could wipe my tears, pour myself a cup of coffee and go on about my day but I don’t.

I squeeze my eyes tightly. Maybe if I go back to lying the same way I did when I first woke then I can see him again. I think my arm was like this and my leg was like this. Maybe if I pull the covers over my eyes and make it dark he will be there. Don’t cry. Don’t think too much…just be quiet and sleep.

And I do. And I bring him back to life. And for what feels like 30 seconds, I have him again. He is real, he is right here. I see him, feel him, hear him and smell him. He is right here with me in every sense.

It’s the waking up that feels like suicide. How can that be? I adore and worship my family and the life I have now. I have two more beautiful sons to live for here on earth and one amazing husband. This is the struggle that all bereaved mothers feel. We have one foot in the ground and one foot in the heavens. We are forever on the fence. Forever in turmoil on some level. We want the best of both worlds and are torn in two.

So why do these shifts happen? These movements from happy to sad and then back again? That I do not know, other than to say you cannot have the yin without the yang. And in some sick and twisted way, I cannot have joy now without pain.

Is that my new normal? Explosions of sadness and longing that would bring the non-bereaved to their knees? I suppose so.

But you know what? I will accept my promotion with dignity and grace whenever possible. And hey, sometimes it’s not possible. Sometimes, you drink wine and eat cookie dough all…day…long, as I did today. And other times you get up, pour yourself a cup of coffee and go on about your day. Either way I will embrace the shifting as it occurs. It is in that shift of energy that you know and understand the delicacy of being half human, and half something else…and if that allows me to have time with all my children, then I accept.

Shannon Harris

As a young bereaved mother, I had conflicting ideas on the grieving process. Alone in a sea of much older and much more experienced bereaved parents, I turned to writing to tell my story. My hope is to offer alternative ideas to traditional forms of expressing grief and to share the love and light that I experience today. I have been writing since I was a child but have earned my living over the last 20 years in customer service, wellness, and management industries. I recently became a Certified Grief Intuitive Coach to help spread the love and share positivity with the world. My goal is to help women and especially bereaved mothers, see their value even after a loss. I reside in Northern California with my two surviving children and my little angel, ever present.

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