Matt, Today is the second day of the New Year 2020. My mind keeps drifting back to the second day of the New Year except the year was 2015. That year I had such high hopes for you. I remember your Facebook post on New Year’s Eve stating you were doing it right. Attending an all night NA meeting. I can’t tell you how my heart soared with joy thinking this New Year would be the beginning of a new us. That your addiction would finally take a back seat to your new life.
We spoke on January 2nd at 6;23pm. I had no clue that would be the last time I would ever hear your voice. The last time I would ever hear the words “Love you, Mom”. There were no red flags. My ears had been trained by the years of your struggle to listen for verbiage changes. There were none. No clue that in just a few hours my world would spin off it’s axis and come crashing down at my feet.
Tomorrow January 3rd, marks your 5 year anniversary. 2020 feels like 2015 all over again. The fact that 5 years has passed means nothing. 5 years feels like yesterday. The grief hits with a vengeance that still has the power to bring me to my knees. My body remembers hearing those words. It remembers hearing the guttural sounds of a wounded animal as she sees the dead body of her young. It remembers the grip on my heart. The breathlessness as if my lungs collapsed and would never know how to breathe again.
I am restless. Edgy. Unsettled. My mind is spinning out of control. Reality and fantasy vie for top spot in my head. I want to scream YOU ARE NOT DEAD. I want to dial your number and talk to you about your day. I want to hear your children laughing in the background as they yell hi to their mom mom. I want to turn back time and fix our lives. I want you and Mike and your families here for Friday night pizza and Sunday barbecues. I want life to be want I want not what we’ve been dealt. I want you HERE…..
There is a foolish perception that time and grief are friends. That in the beginning time holds griefs hand and leads it down the path of firsts. That path is hazy, dark and uncomfortable. But time is seen as a hero. Time continues to pass and as it does grief is supposed to suddenly lighten. To change. To become acceptable. Bearable. Doable. Society is afraid to acknowledge what so many like me know and live. Time is no friend to grief.
Time changes NOTHING. Time continues to pass bringing painful memories to the surface. Time doesn’t stop for your birthday. It doesn’t care how many painful days it drags along your path. The only thing true about time is it continues to march on no longer caring as those empty, painful years pass with no new pictures, cards or memories.
The problem with grief is you can never imagine its power until it finds your soul. Grief knows no time frame. Once it moves in it has no intention of leaving. It wraps itself around your being with a grip that doesn’t know how to let up. Grief makes you feel like you are slowly losing your mind. It makes you question how you will make it through all those next painful days that time continues to drag into your life.
If I’ve learned anything during these last 5 years its that the passing of time means nothing to the power of my grief. Making it through all those firsts means nothing. Time seems to sharpen the edges of life. Time takes me back to those moments and memories that are all I have left of you.
The passing of time and the power of grief have no relationship to each other. There is no connection between the two. Time is no friend to grief and grief knows nothing regarding time. My heart and soul will grieve you forever. The passing of time will continue as it has done these last five years.
Grief comes with no instruction manual. It has a mind of its own. Lying low then hitting hard as a memory, song or smell assaults my senses. Grief is as individual as a fingerprint. There are no stages. No rhyme or reason. Grief is a part of who I am and who I will continue to be. I will embrace my grief allowing it to have its way on those dark days and allowing it to ebb and flow through my soul as time keeps marching on…….