I wasn’t there when Dominic left the road but I’ve imagined it in detail hundreds of times since that night nearly five years ago.
I can’t help it.
I wonder what he thought, what he felt, whether he knew…
It’s not the only tape that plays over and over in my head.
I think about his childhood and the times I probably overlooked my third of four children as I hurried to get this or that done. I think about the arguments we had, the laughter we shared, the disappointments and challenges we faced together.
I replay birthdays and holidays and ordinary days.
Sometimes I get in a cycle that makes me smile: Dominic playing drums in church and subtly shaking his head and sharing an eye roll with me as the congregation claps in awkward rhythm to a song-dozens of different beats, none of which were the right one.
Sometimes I get in a cycle that draws sobs from a place I thought I had sealed off after the first two years of his absence.
My thoughts fall into an emotional feedback loop that, like the sound wave counterpart, is all screeching, mind-numbing and painful noise.
Like a microphone too close to a speaker, the only way out of the loop is to back away and keep backing away until the cycle is broken.
Most days I can shepherd my thoughts down safe paths. Those are the ones I share with others when they ask me to tell them about my son.
But when I’m alone and everything is quiet and my mind is left to its own devices or cued up by a random sight, sound or smell I can find my thoughts running places I’d rather they not go.
And the loop begins again.