Sunday November 30, 2014

We are back in MN, safe and sound, and we promise not to bitch about the weather... Palm Springs was a wonderful getaway for me, Dan and Erin.  We got to be together, play golf, and enjoy a great break from the routine.

But, I am a little emotional about it all.  I can't shake this feeling that we wouldn't be living this way if Shannon were still here.  Survivor's guilt or feeling selfish or something.

I mean, intellectually, I know that I'm allowed to be happy.  Of course that's what Shannon would want.  But, emotionally it's hard to let myself feel that happiness sometimes.  How do you go on vacation and laugh and act like you don't have a care in the world when you know you are only going to Palm Springs because Shannon is gone?  If Shannon were alive, we would have been in Rochester, watching her play hockey at Graham Arena.  Instead, we were soaking up the sun in the California desert.  How can that make me happy?

I don't even know how to articulate all that I am feeling, but guilt is the word that comes to mind.

Of course, our lives got worse when Shannon passed away.  It crushed a part of me that I will never get back.  But, some things in our lives are better now because of it.  Our relationships with each other have deepened and Dan, Erin and I know that we are closer now than we would have been if... With only one kid, we have the time and money to vacation and do things we wouldn't have if...  We have these deep, meaningful friendships that wouldn't have developed if...

So, I am feeling conflicted.  Grateful for all that I have, and trying to come to terms with the things in my life that are different because Shannon is gone.  I would never, ever say that my life is better, but my relationships are, and living in the moment is a good way to be.  It is hard to reconcile that losing a child made life simpler in many ways.  You know I'd give it all back to have Shannon here with us.

But, that's not an option, dammit.  So, I have to remember to look at life through the lens of what Shannon taught me, and remain open to accepting the gifts she continues to give as we go on, doing the best we can without her.