Today was a weird day.
I felt sad. I felt angry. I felt upset. I felt overwhelmed. I wanted to run away. I wanted to hide. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to curl up in my bed and cry.
But I didn’t know why I was feeling this way; so I acknowledged my feelings and then tucked them away inside of myself because I had so much that I needed to do.
Driving home tonight I realized that today is Nathaniel’s day. January 24, 2005. If he had lived, he would have been 17 today.
Even if the mind doesn’t immediately remember, the body doesn’t forget. All those feelings I mentioned above are feelings I felt on that day. Feelings that ask me to bear witness to an event that forever changed my life.
It seems strange to grieve the loss of dreams and hopes and ideals but that’s what I had. We didn’t know what he liked and disliked or whether he was quiet or loud…..athletic or nerdy?
Regardless, my body knows the heaviness of loss. The emptiness. The pain. The loneliness. The conflict.
The grief is not intense anymore. It doesn’t steal my breath or crash over me in waves so strong that I fear I may be swept away.
The grief is a quiet sadness. A subtle and fleeting moment of desolation. It’s presence is there asking me to honor my child and his oh-so-short life by acknowledging all the feelings that carried me from there to here; and the process that shattered and rebuilt a new version of me.