Grief was thrust upon my family when we lost my son's father unexpectedly. At the time, grief at our loved one's passing didn't seem like a gift. More like a nightmare. As it turns out, our journey through grief is both a nightmare we can't wake from, and the gift of a live well lived, and a love that lives on. Grief is proof that there is love. This is our journey.
This is the first day of the rest of our lives without you.
It's the very first thing that comes to mind when I open my eyes. Pulling the pillow over my face I sob into it. Big, gut wrenching sobs. I don't want to remove the pillow. Don't want to see the morning. Don't want to see the day. Don't want to see this is real.
Only there is our boy. Downstairs on the couch, where he finally fell into a restless sleep sometime in the middle of the night. Downstairs, where I sat for hours watching him toss and turn. Afraid to leave the room and let him out of my sight. Downstairs, where I tiptoe, afraid to disturb his much needed sleep, but needing to be there when he wakes.
I'm afraid for our boy. He is going to have to walk a road that I know nothing about. He's way too tiny and young to have to walk this road. It's not fair and desperately I wish that grief was a tangible item. I need death to be a living, breathing thing. Need to throw myself over our child and prevent it from touching him. I picture it as a dragon, and myself decapitating that beast with a sword. No, a three headed dragon. I need to do a lot of decapitating. I need death to be here, physically in this room with me, so that I can punch it, kick it and spit in it's nasty face. Need to destroy it, before our boy wakes up.
Only there is not a way to destroy this grief that is here with us now. There is just our boy waking up, awareness seeping into his eyes, and causing him to flee for privacy. A moment to gather his thoughts.
I don't know what to do. So, as he re-enters the living room I do what has been done every other morning of his life.
"Good morning, Sweets" I say.