I think when I think of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, I imagine the beautiful butterfly that’s ready for flight. I’m emerging from the cocoon, but I’m more like the real thing–a little groggy, wet, and equipped with wrinkled wings that are not ready for flight.

I am still in the valley. I am still grieving. Three months is not very long, really, and I still plan to be gentle with myself as this wound heals. I have no time frame. I anticipate grief in various stages until the day I hold my Sammy again. I’m still processing, but it’s time to open the blog again. It’s just time. Not because I’ve arrived. Not because I am done being sad. Not because I have something to offer–I don’t have much! Not because I’ve moved on. I will not being moving on. I am opening the blog again because it’s part of moving forward with the memory of Sam tucked into a safe place in my heart.

I love the analogy of the butterfly because it means that I emerge as something different than I was before. Grief is not about getting back to normal, finding happiness again the way I found happiness before I lost. It’s about transformation. I find my new normal. I find a new happiness. I make peace with the loss and sadness I will always feel. I’ll never relate the same. I’ll never process the same. I’ll never walk the path I thought I would have–the one where my first baby was born healthy. I’m walking a new path, one that takes an excruciating but beautiful turn into the valley of the shadow, and I am learning to find joy in it.

Thank you for being patient, readers. You’ve been such a blessing to me in your gentleness.