I think grief is slippery, sneaky and downright tricky. I don’t think about Dave every day anymore. I still miss him, but it’s different. I still ache and hurt some days, but not every day. That said, some days are sneakier and trickier than others. Some days, things creep up on me so unexpectedly, I imagine a landmine. Boom! Something triggers the grief.
Then, I may notice the date, the time of day, a place we’ve been and it’s not so sneaky after all. Today was one of those days. Everything was moving along. Everything was doing ok. I decided to take the kids to the movie. It’s a cute movie that Ben has wanted to see for a few weeks. Well, the movie was mostly about a dad and his kids. It was about a divorced family getting a second chance at being happy. A chance my kids would really like to have. They’d love to see their mom and dad together, to go on a date or hug each other. They’d just like to see their dad at all…in any way. They’d just like to see our family complete again. Then I noticed that the date was one of our days.
An hour or so after the movie, the kids are out of sorts and my oldest is sad. His sadness progresses to tears. Before I really know what’s going on, he is sobbing. Somehow, the pin was pulled. His grief bomb has been triggered. He didn’t expect it. I didn’t expect it. It just happens sometimes. I comfort him in the only way I know how…I hold him, tell him how sorry I am for his pain, his loss, and then I cry too. Even now, six years later, his pain is so deep. His loss is so fresh. I am watching him turn into a man and am amazed. I am watching him turn into a man and I am so sad that he doesn’t have his dad here to share it with him. I don’t know, but I think that he is really feeling that lately.
Another holiday weekend is approaching and I can feel the tension in my bones. It feels like Father’s Day was just a minute ago and now we have to look at another weekend of families doing the things that we used to do too. We try every time to make the best of it. We try every time to be as normal as we can, but it’s still there. We still miss being the family we were. This doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate our current status…I think we are doing pretty well. Our brokenness is not always apparent. Some days, we look nearly normal…I think.
Everyday is a new day and a new chance. I try to live this example to my kids. I try to get up every morning with a fresh and new attitude. Not always easy, but I pull it off most days. Grief is sneaky some days though. Grief doesn’t really care what my plans are when I get up. Grief doesn’t often care if my boys were trying to be happy. It often comes to call when you are doing better, feeling better, working hardest toward adapting to this new life. For me, the gift in this sneaky emotion is I can see how far we’ve come. I can still see us in those early moments. I can still tap into the feeling of confusion and consuming grief and recognize that we have done our best through the entire journey this far. Is it perfect? No. Will it ever be perfect? No, not even if my husband were still here. Is it our truth? Yes. I think that’s the key. We are true to ourselves even when the grief sneaks up and takes us down when we don’t expect it. We recognize it. We accept it. We get up the next day and try again. This day, though, we are one moment closer to where we are headed, to who we are to become. When we get up and start again, we make my husband proud. When get up and start again, we honor ourselves and his memory. We honor the love that breaks our hearts when the grief sneaks in to them…and that’s never a bad thing.