Grief Journal: Six Months

Six months.

Sounds like a long time, in some ways. In six months, my oldest son moved from 7th to 8th grade, grew four inches and is planning his high school classes. His sister became a first grader, and a fluent reader. When you’ve only been on this planet 14 and 7 years, respectively, six months really is a long time.

Not so when you’re older. Six months is just a drop in a bucket. Six months’ worth of tears is hardly enough time to drain away an ocean of grief. 

And yet, time pushes us relentlessly forward.

I don’t have a very good memory for people or places (just facts). My childhood is a distant blur. I’m not someone who goes searching for old acquaintances on Facebook because honestly, I don’t remember them—classmates, house mates, colleagues. I get requests on LinkedIn from people who quite clearly remember me and talk about what we worked on, and I have no clue. Even with friends and family, I usually remember the big, overarching stuff but not the details. 

One of my big fears is that I’m going to forget him. Not the idea of him, of course, but the real him. What he sounded like—his laugh, his voice. How his head cocked when you said something interesting (or stupid). The way his very presence raised the energy level in the room. How he could fold himself into impossible positions when involved in something—reading, watching a show, gaming. The loud, rising sound he made when mad or frustrated. The feel of him, all bones and angles and complete trust, when he cuddled. Those gorgeous eyes and incredible smile (with the teeth he hated to brush). What he looked like when he was happy, excited, mad, sad, frustrated… The connection we had.

We live in a digital age, so I have many pictures and even video of him. I know those will become part of my memory. I’m afraid they’ll become most of my memory. That I’ll stitch those static little slices of time into the reality in my heart that is my son, and lose what is real and true.

Six months later, and I’m holding on. 

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