It is so hard to fathom that it has been four months since I have talked to Joe….since he left this earth to be in heaven. Sometimes it seems like just a bad dream that I will wake up out of. Most of the time it seems like a torturously long time…as if time itself is just slowing down to allow me to wallow in my despair and grief. I miss his smile, I miss his laugh, and I miss his voice. Those were three things I got to see and hear on the regular….because he never just called me on the phone, he always video chatted with me. I think he liked to be able to see who he was talking to and by being able to see them, would give them more of his attention. My heart is heavy today, missing those calls….hearing about his day and the craziness that only came with talking with him.
July happens to be the month set aside for parents who have lost children. July 3rd is actually the date they set aside during the month to recognize these parents who have suffered unimaginable loss. July 15th is Leiomyosarcoma awareness day. Isn’t July a fun month? It has all the icky days wrapped into one. Thankfully, we will be travelling again soon and hopefully that will lighten the load a bit…or at least dwelling how heavy the load is. I have mentioned to many very close to me that grief of someone so close to you is not something that diminishes with time. The grief doesn’t lessen at all – you just learn to live with it in a better way as time goes on….at least I hope that happens. It is still all so very raw and new to us…the utter devastation is overwhelming at the strangest of times. It is like being at the edge of the ocean and the water is swirling around your feet. Your feet are sinking in the sand and you are a little nervous about it but feel that perhaps you can continue standing as the waves (grief) flow back and forth across your legs. Then a big wave comes from out of nowhere and knocks you clean off your feet. You didn’t even see it coming! You struggle to stand again and are continuing to be hit by smaller waves, that may not knock you over, but take your breath away. You have to decide if you are going to continue to fight those waves…or sometimes just ride them back to the edge of the shore….or….are you going to let them crash over you and drag you out to where the rip tide will take you out to sea and you can’t get back without help. That is the closest analogy I can come to with living with grief. It is awful and I hope that none of you ever have to deal with the loss of a child.
I wanted to leave you all with a few things I have found over the last couple of days…and then a photo I love of Joe. This was taken at a restaurant in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia when we were visiting a few years ago. I adored his smile and this one was his easy, “I have been fed and now want to sleep” smile. My son, you are missed with every beat of my heart.