I am not unique, but I am different…
I sat in the bowling alley tonight watching people I have known for years and took it all in. The gal who lost her husband four months ago was bowling and seemed much better this week, but we know the emotional roller coaster goes in waves. Bowling on the team against me was an older gal who buried her daughter due to complications just around five years ago. Bowling on the pair of lanes next to me sat a woman who buried her only child, a daughter, who was 19 years old when she passed suddenly due to what they thought was the flu around ten years ago. All I could think the entire time was I am not unique, but somehow different.
We all have our crosses to bear. And again the phrase comes up, “we are not supposed to outlive our children.” You cannot say that. No one can. The only guarantee any of us have on this Earth is that we will die one day. No one gets to dictate how long that life will be or who will go before who. This is what makes us not unique. This is what connects all of us. Mother Mary buried her son, Jesus. He was 32 years old. And, that was not before she watched him suffer horribly. My mother buried two of her sons before she passed and so did my aunt. My grandmother buried my father eight years before she passed. You cannot say you should outlive your children. It happens all the time. I am not unique.
I am different, apparently, because I acknowledge this is possible. This is what provoked the name of this site. We have to live for the dash between our date of birth and date of death. We have no idea how long that time frame is, but I want to make sure that dash has meaning!
Going forward, I will still grieve the loss of my son. I will still cry when I go through Facebook posts that pop up and I hear videos of him speaking or laughing. But I won’t be sad all the time. Why? Because he lived and I know he would want me to live as well. I want to laugh when I think of stories. I want to bring his name up in conversations like the event I am referring to just happened yesterday. I want him to feel alive in my heart. I don’t think I can accomplish that if I continue to be more sad than I am happy. And I am happy. I had him for 24 years. Some parents were not so lucky.
I am not unique, but I am different. I acknowledge that I can outlive my children. I grieve, but I have joy. I smile, but still cry at times. I have sadness, but it does not overshadow the fact that I still have good things happen. I will never stop missing my son. I am not unique, just different.