I struggle to begin journaling these feelings today… my heart flooding with feelings and emotions I’m not always sure how to deal with. I go through waves of feeling strength just to find myself once again drowning in emotions that I don’t know how to find order to. I can’t even find the words to describe it. I have feelings that become more difficult to find peace with because as the days continue to become clearer they also bring a lot of scary emotions. We prepare ourselves throughout life to let go and embrace change; a new car, saying good bye to the house we first brought our new born child home to, letting go of the clothes they grew out of. We allow ourselves to let go of these things because honestly they are just material things and what really matters are not the things we purchase or covet. I get that…but when you lose someone… their things… their material things… are all you physically have left of them.
Grant is always in my heart, he is always on my mind. I just want to hold him again, if even for just a moment. I want him to hear me say I love you, that I couldn’t have asked for a better son, and that he is so loved. I feel broken that I never had the chance to say good bye. I never said goodbye. Words no one ever prepares themselves to say to a child. While I feel robbed of the fact that I never was able to say goodbye I would be naive to think anything about his death would be any easier if I were able to.
Steve and I never really became empty nesters before losing Grant; someone was always home. It seemed as if throughout college years our kids came and went but someone was always filling our house with laughter and life. As parents of young adults we all know they never really move out. Children take what they need for their adventure and leave us parents with all their… Stuff… from the skate board, GI Joe dolls, a closet full of shoes, even the collection of half used products they kept in the bathroom vanity. It all becomes our stuff that we beg them to take or throw away as time passes. In a matter of 6 months Karmin and Grant were missing from home. Home as I knew it was different. Karmin married and moved and shortly after Grant’s presence, laughter, and sarcasm would never fill our home again.
This leads me to journaling the feelings and fears I have been having (not for pity)… I just have to write and sort my feelings for my own sanity and healing and maybe someone else reading that is on this rocky road of grief might relate. For months after losing Grant I didn’t even want to clean my house, some may have thought the reason was I didn’t have the energy … not … truth … I didn’t want to touch anything that he touched. Not his shoes that still remain in our family room, not the towel he dried off with that morning… I slept with that towel for two years. Not the clothes in the laundry because they still smelled like him. I would spray his cologne on myself just to have a scent of him that I missed. I felt like if I wiped things clean I was washing him away. I know this may sound crazy to some but for those who have lost deep I know you know. I have written over and over again as I journal that each step in this journey is raw, even the steps to come years later I am sure. There is no end date to grief. I don’t want to ignore it. I want to embrace it. Missing Grant will never go away. I will forever wonder what life would have been like and grieve his absence in our life.
The baby steps of 2 ½ years: Since losing Grant I have stayed busy, with Grants Place, weddings, and work. Anything to keep me from feeling still… still is… hard. Being alone is… hard… (especially at home.) Our home is a capsule that holds memories of Grant. Every inch is a memory. The world continues to change. Everything from new roads, stores, new technology to clothing styles and trends. I remember feeling guilty for upgrading my phone to one that he would have liked. Everything continues to go on, as it should and always has, but that doesn’t mean change comes easy. But home, Grant’s home… All of my adult life I have enjoyed change and one of my loves for change was in my house… I loved new bedding, lights, furniture. I loved rearranging and hanging the newest latest photos of my children on the walls… but since December 3rd, 2011 my home has stood still. I know for those who have lost a loved one you understand. I can’t replace my bedding because his drool is a stain on my duvet that I cherish, the furniture remains in its place because I imagine him still sitting there. Updating the girls’ photos would be a reminder my boy’s life is still. To organize coat closets would force me to decide how to arrange his shoes and to open his bedroom door would remind me of the worst morning of my life. The door remains closed. I say I love you as I walk by and I never go in. I’m not ready for that step… baby steps….
Over the past few weeks I have been talking with a friend at work about the things l’d like to do in my home and yard…. Oh and the yard! I woke up one day this spring and asked Steve…. Literally… what the hell happened to the back yard … Did I not look back there the past two summers? I guess not…. There were a lot of things I just didn’t care about … things that mattered to me in the past and that must have been one of them. Back to Karin and my conversation… as we talked about some of the things I like and complimented her projects she asked a question (one that would seem to have a simple answer)… “why?”… “why don’t you?”… My only answer was… “It’s hard.” It’s hard to erase anything that I fear will wipe away my memories. I have thought a lot about my answer. I think a huge part of healing is expressing fear… not keeping it bottled up. Maybe in my rambling someone will feel less crazy and know they’re not alone.
I miss you Grantie, Mama