It has been a tough couple of weeks. I have talked to you so much. I am sorry if I seem to be angry at times. I am frustrated that I can’t seem to come to grips with the fact that you are gone. I can visualize you in so many situations. I can see your long thin frame at the back door. I ache to be able to sit on the couch with you or have you come sit on the side of my chair. I miss your voice calling for me in the house. I miss cups of tea with you. I miss talking about the dogs. I miss receiving silly links to strange videos on the internet. I miss your wisdom and humor and tolerance of me. I miss feeling your gaze directed at me, sometimes with incredulity, but always, always with love.
I keep moving. That is all I can say. I get up, I get the work of the day done, most days. Some days I cry lot. The tears are always right below the surface ready to flow.
I miss the joy that was connected directly to you.
I’ve been missing your sister terribly lately. She is so busy and her life has taken a shift as she has started a new job. I think this one suits her. I love how excited she sounds. It reminds me of the excitement you used to bring to me as you discussed the potential for new endeavors.
In my grief I get frustrated that nothing will hold still for very long for me to focus on. The world keeps on moving on. I know for myself that it seems impossible that it could without you. I have always assumed that I did not matter much in the scheme of things, but you did and yet, everything continues to move along. I am just always a few steps behind right now.
I am surprised that some things have not changed more. Our habits are hard to change. The habits of others that I know altered a little after your death, in their attempt to reach out to us. But my habits are the same and therein lies the pain. My habits concerning you are still there and have no outlet. I sustain a level of functioning that allows me to go out in short bursts to be with others. It takes all my strength most times. It is emotionally exhausting.
After two particularly bad days I had a talk with you in my head about what to do. I have talked to other parents who have lost children. Many of them set up ways to memorialize their children. Some run marathons, or ride in races. Some plant flower gardens or petition for public spaces to be set aside in their child’s memory.
Early on your dad and I tried to figure out what to do.
I can’t picture you getting very excited about any of the things I just mentioned. We have considered helping with the Pinnacle Trail or Panthertown in your name. Those places were so special to you and because of you for me. I know someone is going to put your name in a special space on campus at your undergraduate school. It will honor all the students who are now gone. There is also supposed to be a bench put somewhere on campus in your honor too.
There are people alive today because of organ donation from you. I don’t think about that too much. It has the potential to make me crazier than I am already.
Your dad is working on your old VW bug. He had started on that before you died. He wanted to give that to you one day. I know part of his obsession to finish it is to honor you at the car show, which is close to his heart.
I guess we all have to do whatever helps, regardless of how small that help might be. Me? I’m going to do my art. I’m going to go where it leads me. I’m going to paint, and work in the clay. I’m going to let the tears wet my palette. I know you appreciated my work. When you and your sister and dad admire my work to the point of wanting it for your own, it makes feel so proud.
I painted last Saturday. It was the first Saturday since you died that I stood with brush in hand. The painting I did the day you died is still unframed. I don’t know what to do with it. I can see it and the day you died floods back. Saturday is just another day. I know that. Stairs are just stairs. Rocks are just rocks.
I want to honor you with my life. I don’t want to stop being who I am. You, your sister and your dad complete me. I have always felt secure in who I am because of you all. To allow that to change, to say that I cannot be me without you physically present in the world seems an insult to you. You influenced me for good.
These words are easier said, than believed sometimes. I feel diminished, wrung out, joyless so much of the time. I feel very weak at times. Maybe I always was and just depended on my families strength thinking it was my own.
You are irreplaceable. There is no substitute, no stand-in. There are no words big enough to encompass how much I miss you. The world could flood to the top of the mountains with my tears and it would not be a drop in the bucket for the grief that I feel. The fact that I am joined by so many who are in this same place breaks my heart again daily. It is that pressing weight that is so hard to bear. As long as there is life, there is death. We begin thinking about it as soon as we know that death exists and will come to us one day.
I never expected it to come for you so soon.
We love you. I love you.