The human heart is a funny thing-always working hard to protect itself from grievous injury yet prone to exactly what it tries to prevent.
I honestly believe that one of the gifts of early grief is disbelief. Because if I could have understood at once what it meant that Dominic was really, truly GONE, I would have never lasted the first 24 hours.
Even now, going on five years, my head plays games with my heart.
Missing my son is very much like bringing him home except in reverse.
I don’t know about you, but each child added to our quiver slipped in and seemed like he had always been there. It was nearly impossible to remember life before he joined us. I knew, as a matter of FACT, that months and even years had passed without him there, but it was so natural, so beautiful, so perfect now that he was here, the before faded in the background of the after.
It’s much the same way now that he’s gone.
Nature abhors a vacuum and so does the human mind and heart. The spaces I was able to keep sacred to Dominic’s memory (or maybe because some part of my heart held out hope he’d return) are slowly being filled in by people and events and things that he’s never met, participated in or touched. They crowd out the Sacred Spaces I have worked hard to maintain.
And bit by bit it’s as if it’s always been THIS way.
Only it hasn’t.
I’m not forgetting my son. That will NEVER happen. But I am losing the daily pathways that once helped me trace his fingerprints on my life, my belongings and my heart.
And that makes me sad.
I’m trying hard to find new ways to keep him current, part of everyday conversation, events and gatherings. I want his name mentioned as naturally as that of my other children. I want the funny things he used to do remembered and recounted. I want my oldest son’s child to know Uncle Dominic as well as his or her other aunts and uncles.
There are still moments, days and even a week here and there, when it feels like only yesterday that Dominic left for Heaven. The pain is as fresh, as intense, as unbelievable as it was when I got the news.
That shocks me every time.
But most days I’m digging deep to tap old memories, working hard to weave his story into our ongoing story and looking for ways to keep his legacy alive for the generation to come.
Time is a funny thing.
Yesterday AND forever.