I hid this post in my draft folder for months before I published it the first time.
It seemed too raw, too full of all the pain inside my mama heart to put out in the wide world for everyone to see.
And then it was time (like now) to change the flowers on the place where my son’s body rests and I couldn’t stand it anymore.
I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, “THIS IS NOT ALL THERE IS OF MY BOY!”I wanted to stop people on the street and make them listen to his story, to give away a piece of him for others to carry in their hearts.
For a long, long time I couldn’t bear to see a monthly calendar.
I didn’t want to be reminded that time refused to stand still for my broken heart and I hated there were no more “Dominic” events to scribble in on the blank squares.
Around the third year I was able to once again mark major events like birthdays, holidays and short family trips. But it was even longer before I was able to truly look forward with excitement to those things.
Seven plus years, multiple family changes, a pandemic, retirement and a grandchild have reshaped my heart so that I’m genuinely thrilled to prepare and participate in most things from family meals to “Granny Camp” (which I get to host next week!).
I’m not forgetting nor minimizing Dominic by diving into these events with gusto. In fact, I’m sure he would approve.
So I’m entering a new season of grief-one which makes room for current joys and celebrations while still holding space for Dominic.
I can be present and participate without reserve.
I am making memories with those who are still here.
I know I’m not the only one who carries a calendar in my head that threatens to explode like a ticking timebomb.Days that mean nothing to anyone else loom large as they approach.
The date of his death.
The date of his funeral.
The day he should have graduated from law school.
On and on and on.
How can I survive these oppressive reminders of what I thought my life would look like? How can I grab hold of something, anything that will keep my heart and mind from falling down the rabbit hole of grief into a topsy-turvy land where nothing makes sense and it’s full of unfriendly creatures that threaten to gobble me whole?