Today marks eight years since we gathered with friends and family to say our final good-bye to Dominic.
It had been eleven long days since the deputy woke me up on April 12th. Days when I was both unbelieving and overwhelmed by the fact my son would never cross the threshold again.
I woke up that morning numb.
I’d cried every day but for some reason when faced with this final act I couldn’t muster tears.
We received folks for a couple of hours before the service began and during that time I reached behind my back and placed my fingers in Dominic’s cold right hand clinging to the few moments I had left with his earthly shell.
So, so many people I didn’t expect to come, came. So, so many hugs and whispered words and sad smiles marched past as we were forced to participate in a parent’s worst nightmare.
When the funeral director indicated it was “time” I didn’t want to let go. I turned, kissed his cheek and drank in the last glimpse of his face in this life.
It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Eight years have come and gone.
The first few were excruciating-I experienced every moment of every day through my pain. I spent hours upon hours thinking about and processing what had happened and what I’d lost.
Gradually, over time, and by doing the work grief requires, I have become stronger and life has grown around my loss. I’ve learned that joy and sadness can coexist. Color has returned to my grayscale world. Most of the shattered pieces of me have reassembled themselves into a kind of whole. My family has survived.
I’m so thankful for every person who helped that day when we laid Dominic to rest. I’m so thankful for every person who has helped since. I’m especially thankful to my family for not giving up on me or on one another.
But I’m still astonished that nearly a decade has passed and Dominic is not part of a single memory or photograph.
Grief anniversaries stop me in my tracks and require my full attention.
Today is sacred. It’s a line in the sand marking “before” and “after”.
It deserves to be remembered.
Dominic deserves to be remembered.
So today I will remember. ❤