Tori Campbell The Choice Life

Saturday would mark Tori Campbell's 19th birthday.

Tori’s 19th birthday is this Saturday. I have a difficult time understanding how so many excruciatingly long and painful days added up so quickly to a year since her passing.

Perhaps because there is a predictable routine to the days now, it makes our time with Tori seem so foreign and so long ago. It certainly was another life. Everything revolved around caring for her and helping her transition to the other side. We did everything we could for her and now she is gone. That part of my life is over.

I won’t even talk about how much I miss her. It is too raw and painful. It is amazing to me, actually, to observe the reserves that I am able to draw from, as I mourn my daughter. To see how much energy can be allocated to sorrow.

It comes and goes. It just surprises me more and more when it comes, because I can’t fathom how the pain can seem so fresh when I think that I’ve already exhausted it. I’m angry about what it has done to my family. I’m angry when I think about how this pernicious disease will have ripple effects for the rest of my life, my children’s lives, and beyond.

Don’t get me wrong, I spend the vast majority of my time looking for the good, striving for faith and hope, and not being dragged down by the tumultuous drama. But I have to accept that this emotion must be dealt with. I can not keep sweeping aside things that are hard, because they will keep popping up. I must radically accept my situation.

This is a concept that I’ve learned in therapy over the last year. I have to face it head on. Whether or not I agree with the situation, it just IS. Denying the hurt doesn’t make it go away. Not accepting pain brings suffering. And more suffering is something I could do without.

Denying the pain leads to numbness, which is a whole lot of no fun. Acceptance of reality is the only way to make it through. And the only way out is through. I want out. So I must go through. Lord help me as I try to stagger my way through.

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