July 2 (today… I should be sleeping) marks nine months since you left us; the same amount of time I carried you in my body. I miss you. Maybe more now than in those early days following your departure. Then everything was colored by your absence. Now it sneaks up on me… I’ll go to share something or send a picture and remember and it’s like taking a sucker punch to the gut.
Your presence is still with us, I know. You come as a crow, either outside my office window or on a random image search for “searching.” When I don’t see a crow for a few days, suddenly one shows up on my news feed, or in my email. The crow snowboarding down a metal roof on a lid in Russia, the crow caught hitching a free ride on the back of a bald eagle. These are not things I ever saw or noticed before. They’re visits, I choose to believe.
If you get to choose your reappearance, a crow is an apt representative, particularly when I spy one picking yummies out of the trash. Remember that time you brought us all those mushrooms from the dumpster?
You appear in music lists, unplanned. More for your siblings than for me, I think, but then you know music isn’t my “thing.” You’d be self-satisfied (proud isn’t the right word) knowing how many days I’ve had music playing while getting ready for work. Not my norm, but yours.
I know you see our tears, feel our hurt, know our anger. Yes, we’re still so very angry.
Why weren’t you wearing your seatbelt? Why were you driving like an idiot? Why?
I like to think you were caught up in a good song that came on as you rounded that corner. More likely, you were snap chatting some random chick or texting while driving. Going too fast in the dark, pushing your limits, like always. Would you have made different choices if you knew the outcome? I honestly don’t know. I know my first thought every morning is about you.
Part of me thinks you’d rather have opted to skip ahead of the rest of us in line. It would be par for the course. You were always trying to get things done early… from birth to graduation.
Nine months. Everything still hurts. Your loss is like a bone bruise…triggering pain although everything on the outside appears “normal.”
One of the best/worst parts of this whole process has been connecting to other parents in the same hideous club. One of those parents, @jamietheveryworstmissionary, who I’ve never met in person but whose words about spirituality and the church have born witness with me, lost her son earlier this year. One thing I’ve come to understand, the “how” doesn’t much matter.
Jamie is an incredible writer, and a few days ago she shared the following potent and powerful words that still resonate within me, so I’m sharing them here. I particularly like her words about the abyss. For years I’ve feared and avoided the abyss with everything in me.
Now I am the abyss.
Whatever you’re facing today, whatever challenge is upon you, you’re stronger than you think and braver than you know, and I’m sorry you had to find that out the hard way. But, really, is there any other way?