It’s been some time since my last post, because I’ve found it difficult to write lately. My mind hasn’t let me go to that deep, dark place in the last few months. It’s strange how your mind goes into its own mode of protection without you even being aware of what is taking place. It’s like I’ve unconsciously distanced myself from the pain…from the memory…from the trauma…a subliminal change that took place subtly. Those of you who have lost a close loved one, I know can relate to and understand this unconscious act. Sometimes, I feel guilty that my mind has taken me to this place…and then at others I feel some relief from the excruciating pain. To say that makes me feel guilty as well. There’s just no easy way to grieve. My friend, Sherry, told me that grief would be the hardest work I would ever do….and she was so very right. Grief has put miles on my heart that I didn’t even know was possible.
Those miles have aged me…not only in the physical sense, but spiritually and emotionally as well. I’ve said before that Aaron’s death has changed me… but that is becoming even more apparent with each year that passes….each month…each week…and each day. I do feel true happiness now, but I still feel that emptiness inside. That’s not only come from losing my son, but in losing my family as it once was….losing me as I once was. Grief is the most depleting and exhausting, multifaceted loss I’ve ever experienced. It is also the most unpredictable and complicated set of emotions one can face.
Each year after Aaron’s loss has brought with it new challenges. And what’s so crazy….it’s hard to find anything out there that describes anything beyond the second year. So, I think it’s time for someone to explain what they experience with each new year. For me, I think the first year was by far the worse. For one, you are reeling from the shock of the loss and you are trying to wrap your head around the magnitude of your loss. In this whirlwind, your heart actually aches…and yes, sometimes that’s a physical hurt. Not only are you experiencing that physical pain, you are bombarded with a year of firsts….and the triggers are EVERYWHERE. The second year brought with it the challenge of accepting reality and trying to comprehend the permanence of our loss. So, I had to come to grips with the enduring nature of our family’s loss.
I’m getting ready to head into my third year, and this milestone is no exception….it is bringing with it a new set of challenges. It’s really hard to put this into words…so I’ll try my best to explain it. One of the hardest things I’ve felt so far is the fading of memories. It feels as if I’m beginning to lose pieces of things I’ve held onto over the past two years…his laugh…his voice. Time has created a distance that seems to widen the separation between Aaron and our family. I’ve been listening to a song over the past few days called Boxes, by The Goo Goo Dolls. There’s one line in particular that I seem to sing louder than the others…almost as if I’m singing it to Aaron. In the song, the chorus says, “You are the memory that won’t ever lapse, when 25 years have suddenly passed.” It’s almost as if I’m not only singing it to Aaron, but to myself as well. I think this new challenge has made me feel as if Aaron is being forgotten, and I’m trying to reassure myself with these lyrics that he will never be forgotten.
The journey through each year of grief is exhausting in its own way. You travel down different roads and different paths, and each of these bring with them their own mountains or climb. And as these miles accumulate, so do the miles on your heart…and the worst part…you never know what new challenges or mountains lie ahead, you just have to deal with them as they come…putting more miles on an already travel worn heart.
Aaron ~ You are the memory that won’t ever lapse….you will forever be in our hearts. ❤️💔