One down. Forever to go…

I really can’t believe 2015 is over. I really can’t believe I made it this far to be completely honest. It was so dark this time last year I couldn’t see weeks ahead more less a year ahead. But I did it. One day at a time.

I have really good days, yet very sad ones. Happy moments, and crippling moments. And everything in between. But the good is what keeps me hopeful. I’ll never understand why life can be so unfair. So unexplained. But I’m holding onto hope that someday I’ll see more clearly than I can now. Alo’s death will never make sense to me. I just hope eventually I can learn to accept it more and just let go. Not let go of him. Or our wonderful six years full of memories. But the pain inside and the millions of questions that will never be answered.

I would have thought as time went by memories would fade. And my thoughts of him and constant reminders would lessen. But they haven’t. It almost seems to happen more often now. But December and January had some of the most monumental days in our past. I know the pain will always be there, it’s just how I learn to live with the hole in my heart.

I know without a doubt Alo would just want me to be happy. And want me to be doing everything in my power to be. To keep smiling. He always loved my smile. He would want me to keep moving forward with my life and cherishing everyday just like he did. Being grateful for the all the moments that present themselves…big, small and everything in between.

I can say that this has made me realize what is truly important and what isn’t. One of my friends who also lost her husband at a young age once said, ‘Carrie – we have a deep appreciation for how fragile life is. We have had to experience such tragedy first hand that it will change us forever. And we will always be grateful for every moment we have with our loved ones and the simple things in life most people take for granted.’ I fully agree with her now. And hope it serves a greater purpose. I hope to instill this in others as much as possible so they don’t lose sight of what is really important. So they don’t forget how life can change in an instance and that tomorrow is never guaranteed.

Everyone says how strong I am. And how proud of me they are. And how far I’ve come. And it’s hard for me to agree for many reasons. No one sees the late night breakdowns. No one feels the daily ache in my heart for what can no longer be. No one gets it. Not my situation. But the more I’ve thought about it at the start of 2016, I do truly believe I’m strong. I have been able to create such light out of pure darkness and sorrow. I have been able to pick myself up off the floor, peal myself out of bed, and follow a dream. A dream which makes a difference in others’ lives. If I didn’t pursue my love for photography this year, I wouldn’t have been able to capture the hundreds of moments for others that they can cherish forever. So for that I’m proud. And know I’m stronger than I feel inside.

To 2016…I’m anxious to see what’s in store. Alo wouldn’t want anything less than extraordinary <3