One Year

It was a little over a year ago that we lost Jon. I’ve thought about what, if anything, I was going to write. This probably isn’t what I was planning, but I feel like I need to put something out there.

This has been a hellish year. I lost my son and my last grandparent in the space of 3 weeks. The family has dealt with some health issues and some other extended (to me) family deaths. The one bright spot was the birth of my nephew (and my wonderful niece, I can’t help but to be happy when I’m around her, I think she knows I need some happiness), but unfortunately for me that was muted because it happened literally days after Jon’s death. I’m just fortunate to have a great wife and great family to help get through this.

I am not the same person I was a year ago. I put on a good face at work and while out, but I’m not the same. I am pretty much always sad. Things that I never would have thought twice about bother me, especially sayings like “bite the bullet”, “kill me now”, or “just shoot me”, and don’t even get me started about the “make a gun out of your hand, hold it to your temple and pull the trigger” motion. I cringe every time somebody at work says or does something like that. There’s times during the day that I just stop and look at Jon’s picture on my desk and I am incapacitated for a few minutes.

We still have boxes of Jon’s stuff sitting out in our basement. I just can’t deal with doing anything with it. I don’t want to throw his stuff away because it’s all I have left of him physically. I don’t want to get rid of his clothes (and trust me when I say he had a ton of clothes, most women wouldn’t have half as may clothes and shoes as he did) because I can look at them and “see” him. We’ve got all sorts of “stuff” that I normally would have just got rid of, but instead we still have it sitting there. It’s out of the way, but it’s still there. I know that in time we’ll pack things away and probably get rid of some things, but for now, there’s comfort in just seeing those things.

I can now totally understand how parents who have lost children who still live at home never touch their child’s room again. Had Jon still lived at home his room would have become lost in time. I used to think that was very weird but now I know I would do the same thing.

My wife and I went to the cemetery on the 11th. The snow had finally melted and it had been warm and windy enough lately to make the ground solid and not a big muddy mess. We brought out some roses and added them to the other flowers that were already put there today. We just stood there and cried together. I still go out at least once a week (I would bring a shovel during the winter and clear off his headstone and stomp a path to it), but that day was something more important.

That night we had dinner with family to remember Jon. We went to the pizza place that we went to (and still go to) every Friday night. We had 12 of us there, all close family, and it was great that we could come together, it is just too bad that the circumstances were what they were. It was tough but it was good. It helped us all remember him and catch up with each other.

I want to thank Michelle (the owner) and especially our wonderful server Ashley at Pizza Factory for closing off the dining room and allowing us our time. We really appreciate it.

Jon, rest in peace, and know that you’re never far from my thoughts. I love you.

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2 Responses to “One Year”

  1. Albatross Says:

    This has been a year for dreadful events. Your loss echoes my cousin’s loss a couple of months ago. Another friend lost one teenaged son when her older son was driving the car pulling him on a skateboard (“skitching”).

    I have been mute in the face of these tragedies because I have absolutely no idea what I could possibly say or do in the face of these things. Your loss is too huge and too terrifying for me to have the courage to even approach it. Even this note seems somehow disrespectful and petty in the face of what you have experienced.

    If anyone could do anything, everyone would. If any imagined comfort could be offered, I believe they would be. If anything said could be significant, I expect it has been.

    You wonder how to deal with your son’s belongings. I don’t know how you get out of bed. I don’t know how you draw one breath after you learn the news. I am astonished at what you have managed to do, and I hope with every cell in my body I never learn whether I would or could measure up to you.

    Nobody judges you. You take all the time you need to do anything you can do. Everyone who knows you is standing not in judgment but in support. There is no ‘right way’ to do survive this. Nobody who HAS survived this would want judge you, and nobody who hasn’t would dare.

    You’ve made it through the first, worst year. I hope the next is not as bad. I hope you can take the steps necessary to continue to heal. You’ve made me more aware of the thoughtlessness of some overused expressions. More importantly you’ve made me aware of how much I have and how fortunate I am.

  2. sirfwalgman Says:

    I can not even imagine going through what your family has gone through. Reading your posts just makes me want to go home and hug my son. Best wishes to you and your family.

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