It’s funny what can make my heart race and my eyes fill with tears.
Sometimes it’s obvious- I hear of another son killed in a motorcycle accident.
But sometimes it’s obscure- like when I see someone using a legal pad to take notes.
Either way, triggers take me back to ground zero. They rivet my mind’s attention and my heart’s focus to the very moment I first learned Dominic had left us.
Triggers can happen anywhere, any time. They are often unpredictable and surprising.
And there is not one. single. thing. I can do about them.
Even six plus years into this journey and I am as vulnerable today as I’ve ever been.
I try to limit my exposure. I try to have an escape route. I try to suck up the tears and stifle the sobs.
But sometimes no matter how hard I try, I’m overwhelmed and undone.
There’s part of me that wishes I could just move on and rejoin life and the human race calm and collected, regardless of what memories a sight, sound or smell taps into.
And then there’s part of me that wants the world to sit up and take notice of the ongoing pain and toll child loss inflicts on a parent’s heart.
I’ll be honest, as I’m writing this I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that one of my children is dead.
Oh sure, I can relate the series of events, but in my heart of hearts it is as shocking today that Dominic isn’t coming home as it was on April 12, 2014.
I really can’t adequately convey the ongoing sense that this must be a mistake. There must be something someone has overlooked. Maybe it was all a dream and he will come walking through the door.
I’m not crazy.
I know that Dominic is dead. I saw his body in the casket. I saw the casket lowered into the ground. I visit his grave to change out the flowers.
But I will never, ever get used to it.
All it takes is a smell or a sound or any one of a thousand things that I associate with my third child and I’m transported to that awful morning.
So if you see me tear up, shut down or turn away- let me go.
I just need a few minutes to put my game face back on.