New Year + Jonah’s Month
2018 is a bright one so far. We welcomed the new year in with friends last night, so I didn’t wake up until just past 9 AM. I walked out of the bedroom to find a brilliant sun shining in a crystal blue sky. It’s one of those deceiving winter days that makes you think it’s beautiful and beckons you outside, when in fact it’s below zero, bone chilling and painful to be out in. Welcome to January in Minnesota!
This day has a fair amount of significance for me, but it’s hard to puzzle out exactly what that significance means. 2017, forever Jonah’s year, has ended. I have such a hard time believing that I made it through that year, and that it’s over. It feels so long with all of the slogging through grief, but also short, because where does time go? Grief is such a funny thing that way, making time both run long and stand still at the same time.
While the end of 2017 means Jonah’s year has passed, the beginning of 2018 means Jonah’s month is here. He was born on January 22nd, one day before his daddy’s birthday on the 23rd. My therapist tells me that our bodies remember things better than our brains do, so my senses are feeling and smelling and tasting the January-ness of Jonah. I’m looking forward to celebrating him this month, while at the same time worried about revisiting the pain of his passing. For the most part, though, I’m expecting to feel a whole lot of love, and maybe not so many multitudes of pain.
The beginning of 2018 also brings with it a lot of people making resolutions. What is it about starting a new year that makes everyone so eager to change themselves? New Year’s resolutions feel silly to me. All we’ve done is flip a calendar, yet suddenly we’re supposed to feel inspired to be new people? I want that kind of inspiration to visit me and start any time, not just on the 1st of a year. I guess it’s nice to be reminded to think about and act upon that inspiration, but I wish it was more than just a New Year’s Day occurance!
Jonah makes me think about that kind of inspiration all the time. 2017 was a year of immense change for me, thanks to my unending, unfathomable love for him and my just as unfathomable grief over losing him. I’ve never grown so much as a human being as I did in 2017, and I’m positive that Jonah’s love will keep that growth going for a long time.
So, here I am on this sunny, frigid January 1st, welcoming 2018 with an open heart and a cup of coffee. Here’s to a year of love, grief, hope, gladness, thankfulness, gentleness, kindness, and a willingness to let it all in and feel every molecule of it.
Originally published at www.letterstojonah.com on January 1, 2018.