The Puzzle

Last week I looked forward to spending the weekend at Grants Place. Steve and I had a list of to-do’s… yet it’s the simple things like looking out the window at a beautiful sky or watching and wondering why birds fly the way they fly that make my days so serene … listening to the sound of nothing but the breeze. Yes, even the mysterious noise of nothing is part of my wondering… about life, death… weird things like wishing I understood the sound or the wind. Wishing it was his voice…. a noisy kind of silent I never hear in the city.

Being at Grants Place I find peace, quiet, and the time to process the reality of him being gone from this earth. I know it is the place of serenity Grant wanted Steve and I to have. It’s time we can reminisce about our boy, where we can cry together, and a place where we can, if only for a short time, shut the world off and just feel and grieve our boy together. Losing Grant is a heart ache that Steve and I equally share; he understands and has patience for my ugly days and helps me embrace and find joy in the happy days. I know Grant wants me to appreciate simple things like laughing at funny things that the kids say. Annie asked me last week “Nana, why do you like Owls?” For a second I felt teary answering her unknowing question. I replied “because they make me think of Grant.” She instantly made me giggle by responding “I just look at his picture.” I’m still giggling at the innocence yet real answer to her question. Annie made me laugh. A five year old can still make me laugh. Grant never laughed harder or repeated things more with his gut rolling laugh than the words of his nieces and nephews.

This past weekend I brought along a puzzle that I received from a friend this past holiday, an adorable owl picture in 500 pieces that I thought would be an easy task, until I opened the box. As I poured all the pieces onto the table I just sat there for a few minutes and thought this looks like my life 3 years ago. But not 500 pieces…more like a million. I could look over at the puzzle box and view the picture much like the one on the wall. I could see a picture but as I pulled all the pieces that resembled the frame of the puzzle square my thoughts were this: there cannot be enough shapes to frame and complete this shattered photo. It is strange moments like this that I can relate to grief and healing.

I think it’s normal and understandable to feel this way. For some, a few pieces a day will find their place to finally complete the beautiful image. Maybe for others, several pieces put in place one day and I suppose there are days we just swipe the whole thing off the table because the thought of life not ever being as we hoped for seems impossible. Putting the picture of life back together without Grant feels wrong or disrespectful; never wanting to finish because the complete photo of my life will never be the same. I sat there thinking if I were to compare my grieving and healing to this puzzle I don’t know if there would ever be that last puzzle shape in place… it’s that piece of my life that will always be missing from complete wholeness. At that very moment I felt “what do I think Grant was say?” Suddenly I knew the answer he’d give me “Complete wholeness is Heaven…”

Grant Loved Me… I know how much he still loves me…. I continue to take baby steps to a place in my grieving were I’m learning to unselfishly miss my boy… maybe an odd choice of words??? But for the past three years I’ve been on mood swings of honestly – angry horrible selfish thoughts at times.

I’m not being honest about this for just any given reader. If you’re shoving your chair back thinking “wow what a bitchy griever” then this probably isn’t for you. I’m saying it for those in the deepest trenches of grief, sorrow and sadness. Losing a child is the worst pain, the scariest place to be… it feels hopeless most days. But as time has passed I want to find joy in Grant’s life. I don’t want to be bitter for the future, success, happiness, love, families other’s will have that I dreamed of for my son. Grant wouldn’t want that. Healing is hard, finding peace is hard, accepting is hard. Loving my son for the amazing person he was on earth matters more to me than consuming myself with anger for dying. I made it to a place in my grieving I can hear him, and as hard as it is to listen, I hear him.

“Mom, Be happy.
Mom, I never left you.
Mom, Don’t think like that.
Mom, Let it Be.”

I love you Grantie

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