When someone you love passes from this life to the Summerlands you start to count the passage of time in a completely different way. At first it is one breath at a time, one excruciatng, heartbroken moment at a time. Eventually it will be by the day, then the week, and finally a month. But that first month after their passing seems like an eternity that went by in the blink of an eye.
When Jeremy died I marked the passage of time in such a way. At first it was a week at a time, then it was one month after he died...two months...three months...six months...a year. For awhile I went to the cemetary to "see" him every week, then every month. Now I only go once or twice a year. He is not there.
The first year is horribly excruciating. It is the first year without your loved one to share life with. The first birthday without this person, the first holiday season, the first trip of the season to the beach or whatever it is you did together and enjoyed doing. The joy just gets zapped out of your life.
Nine years ago today I put my son's cold body into the ground and said goodbye for good. I probably won't say anything to anybody about what today is to me, but my heart still hurts. I do not want sympathy. In writing this, I hope that someone whose heart is aching from a horrendous loss will find this blog and know that with time, it will get better.
When Jeremy died I dreaded the holidays more than ever before because it started with his birthday around the time of Thanksgiving. Then winter comes and with the New Year the cold weather and darkness that have always sent me spiraling into some kind of seasonal depression. Finally February comes along with the hope of spring to appear soon, the time of new life and new beginnings but also the time when I can kind of bring to a close the cycle of his birth, his death and his burial.
The bulbs and seedlings are coming up in my yard now. The trees are getting new leaves and some plants are blooming. I am reminded of that never-ending cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
And I remember the young man my son was, I wonder what he might have been.
It doesn't hurt quite as much now, but it does hurt. Time took away much of the pain and even the memory of it, for which I am grateful. But I will never, ever forget.