I am getting close to the 3-year anniversary of the worst day of my life, the loss of my son! How have I gotten here in what seems the blink of an eye? I have some theories. As I spend time and think about how I managed these almost last three years and the motions of my new normal, it seems to ease my anxiety as that anniversary approaches. This date is difficult. A far cry from the anticipation of waiting for Christmas Day, but there is still a countdown. The closer it gets, the tighter the feeling in my chest and the wonder of “how” did I get here!
I still am in awe that my mother and my aunt (on my dad’s side) did this twice! Those two women both lost two sons each. Even though they were at different ages and for different reasons, we know a loss is a loss. Those ladies didn’t have social media and the support I feel I have. How did they do it and not die too? A question I will never get an answer to, but am guessing it was similar to mine, living every day with a beating heart for them!! Also, knowing where they are and that they are at peace!!
For me, I keep my son alive in my heart every second of every minute of every hour of every day! The time seems to stand still and yet goes by quickly, or so it seems! Just as the fact that my daughter is turning 30 this year when it seems like yesterday I gave birth!! I do believe by never letting him die in my heart, he will not die in my every day actions. I have said it before, and it works, I live for him every day!
Last year, my husband and I took a trip on that anniversary and tried to do things our son would have enjoyed doing. A lot of it was outside my comfort zone, but since our son lived on the edge of fear and fun, I did too!! We called it the “watch this, hold my beer” tour. He would have loved it! We zip-lined, walked across the sky bridge in Gatlinburg, and drank moonshine! All things I had never done before.
This year, I have just changed positions and am not taking a week off to celebrate his life. I am still hoping to take the day off. There are two days a year I will not work if at all possible: his date of birth and his date of death. If I did work, my mind would not be in it. I think most would understand that. I still want to do something. Just haven’t decided what it will be yet.
As I approach that fateful date in one month, I know my heart will be heavy again for all the things that both my son himself and us as parents missed out on. I have to know with my faith, he is still with me and I am happy for all the joy he did experience! I think he would be proud of some of the efforts I have made to honor him and live in memory of him!
I did speak at my first DUI offenders class as a victim’s advocate this month. I was nervous. I talked to Cody a lot before and after. I knew I would get emotional during the presentation, just wasn’t sure at what point it would hit me. I made it almost all the way through my slide presentation. Pretty proud of that too. I wanted facts to go with it and it took me almost three years to uncover those facts. I knew he had been drinking that night. I just didn’t know how much! Shocked at what I discovered, yet not. I know I would have not dealt as well had it been earlier in my grief. Glad I waited for the signs for that discovery.
Here is what that lesson taught me. Cody still has messages for me. I don’t always know, at first, what they are for, but it always makes sense down the road. I am so grateful for those signs! It makes it easier to get up each day knowing I will still have new moments in which he is a part of. I would prefer his actual presence, but I still know he is there in spirit! It will have to do.
As I await the next 31 days to pass, know that losing a child is, and always will be, the worst thing a parent will go through. Also know, we are never alone in that situation and need each other to hold our hands, be a person to turn to and lean on, and we were blessed to be their parent! The life they leave behind is something we never want to forget or stop talking about. I speak my son’s name often as if he is in the next room, or is about to get off work, and even on his way home to eat his favorite meal that I still cook! I do these things a lot while in this stretch waiting for that anniversary. As much as I hate adding another year gone, I don’t ever want to forget the years I had!! As always, I cry because he is gone, but I smile because he was here!!
#threeyearsgone #forever24 #gonebutnotforgotten #thedashinthemiddle