I recall a text message between my friend (who is also a bereaved parent #aubrey) and I, where I was sick. Payton had been gone for less than 2 weeks. I told my friend I was sick and grieving and the two didn’t go well together.
It’s now been 16 weeks since my baby boy went to Heaven, and I’m realizing that grieving doesn’t go well with anything, but it comes with EVERYTHING. You can be having drinks with a few friends, laughing even, but the grief is still there, in every swallow of your drink, in every silent moment. You can be celebrating your 17 year old’s birthday (happy birthday tomorrow Wes..mom loves you), and the grief lingers inside of you like old Avon perfume on your shirt that should have been thrown out years ago…but Grandma was saving it for the collector’s value. The thing with grief is, although there is no collector’s value, there is value- it’s measured by love. The love you have inside your heart for your child or loved one will never leave, nor will the grief you carry for them.
Grief doesn’t go well with dinner, birthday parties, a day at the beach or bedtime, but it goes with you everywhere. In every moment the pain of grieving my son is there. There is not a day I do not cry. Some days there is not an hour I do not cry. Sometimes I cry because I have flashbacks of the day he died. Sometimes I cry wishing I could see him, kiss him, hug him, and tell him I love him. Tears flow when I’m driving alone and my thoughts get in the way. Some days I cry when we go to events he would have loved, or loved in the past. Yesterday I cried because I moved the lotion we used on his legs for the horrible striations the steroids caused, and I caught a whiff of the scent which just about brought me to my knees unexpectedly. Today I cry because I do not know how to accept that our lives have been forever changed and nobody really knows us anymore..hell we don’t know ourselves anymore. Grief does not expire but my hope is we will eventually accept ourselves for who we are, grief intact.