In four days it will be four years.
Four years since I woke to the news that my son was dead.
Four years since what I thought was going to be my life was shattered.
Four years since I was forced to walk a road I do not want to travel.
Four years into the life I did not choose.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately which won’t surprise any bereaved parent reading this.
We think. A lot.
About what might have been. About what is. About what it might be like to live for years or decades still carrying the weight of missing.
One thing that surprises me about life as a grieving parent is how ordinary it remains. My world was shattered. But THE world was not shattered.
My family is a tiny drop in the sea of humanity and our up-close tragedy is not even on the radar in the larger scheme of things. If headlines about mass shootings drop to page ten in a week, how much more unlikely anyone but those intimately involved in our story will be thinking about it a month, a year, four years later?
All the things I had to do BEFORE Dominic left us I still have to do.
The grass grows, clothes get dirty, food must be prepared.
Friends have birthdays, holidays roll around, kids finish school, get married and have babies.
This juxtaposition of internal disarray with ordinary routine means I spend a great deal of energy bringing my attention around to what needs to be done instead of allowing my mind to wander down memory lane or explore “what-ifs” or “why-nots”.
Everything I do requires more energy than it used to. Everything takes more planning, more intentional action, more effort.
So I’m tired.
Four years in and I am. so. so. tired.
This surprises me too.
I thought I’d be better at it by now.