At first grief felt only like sorrow and longing and brokenness.
Then it felt like confusion and anxiety and despair.
A little further along this journey it mostly felt like apathy.
Now it feels like love.
It’s the same love that helped me hold on when I was face first in the toilet every morning for seven months. Morning sickness with Dominic lasted nearly the whole pregnancy! With two young children already in our home, it was one of the hardest seasons of my life.
It’s the same love that demanded they bring me my baby when they whisked him away due to “concerns” after birth. Twenty-four hours later, c-section or no c-section, I told the nurse I’d be marching my butt down to the nursery if they didn’t bring him to me right away. (It was a different time-no real “rooming in”.)
It’s the same love that worked with my frustrated little boy to make his words sound clear and correct. Slow down, hit the hard consonants, be precise in how you form your lips. He grew up to give the undergraduate address when he graduated from UAB in front of thousands.
It’s the same love that listened when he told me his troubles, his fears and his dreams. So, so many nights he’d come in, flop down backwards on my bed and proceed to talk until I was just about to drift off to sleep.
It’s the same love that held his hand as people walked by expressing condolences.
It’s the same love that kissed his cold cheek before they lowered the casket lid. Told him, “Good-bye” and walked upright from the sanctuary.
I refused to dishonor his brave life by giving in to my personal fear.
Grief is really just love.
Dominic has been my son since he sat safely in my womb.
He’s still my son.
My love is not diminished because I can no longer touch him.