Last night we went to see Collateral Beauty. I wanted to go last night, rather than on a cheap Tuesday, because I knew it was going to make me cry, and I would rather cry in front of fifteen strangers instead of ninety. I did cry, but not entirely out of sadness. In the movie, Will Smith's character loses his six year old daughter. We lost Carter, but losing an unborn child is different than losing one you have spent years with; I couldn't fully relate to his loss, I only know my own.
But I cried because the message of the movie is something I've been striving for since the afternoon of October 26th. In the movie, a character says "just make sure you notice the collateral beauty," which is far easier said than done. But I've been trying.
There have been a few situations in the past weeks that could have been perceived as super, super crappy, or actually kind of neat, and I've realized that it is up to me how I perceive them. When I was buying a Christmas tree at Hobby Lobby for the rest of Carter's ornaments and the cashier announced overhead "we need Christmas tree BB as in baby boy to the registers," the collateral beauty was not being angry that they use baby boy as the identifier, but noticing that the universe somehow knew what I was using the tree for. Collateral beauty is hearing the lady in the Sizzler bathroom tell someone she is going to name her baby Carter, and me not getting mad, but telling her that we named our son that, that we lost him at 39 weeks, and having her tell me that she lost her first. Collateral beauty is wanting to be upset about the dry skin between and under my eyebrows, but suddenly appreciating it when I remember that Carter had the same dry skin in the same spots. Collateral beauty is having a package of ours delivered to the wrong house, getting a random text from the lady that received it, and having her tell me that she has been in our shoes twice, and getting the biggest hug from a stranger that I've ever been given.
Sometimes I think about certain things that have happened, and wonder if I'm just making up the beauty and the special meaning of it all. I wonder how on earth I can try and tell people how situations like these make my heart feel lighter and heavier at the same time without them thinking I'm a crazy person. But then I remember that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if I think I'm crazy or if other people think I'm crazy-unless I'm having conversations out loud with no one, then someone get me some help. What matters is how I perceive things, and how I choose to grieve. And most of the time, not every second of every day, but most of the time, I choose to perceive things in light and in beauty. Life is too short to not appreciate every minute, even the bad ones.