The sunshine makes me feel better. It’s cold (it’s March and I live in Michigan, after all), but it still feels good to sit outside. Okay, maybe not good, exactly, but certainly calming. Soothing. Maybe even healing, if that’s truly possible.
You see, I lost my son this month. He was thirteen years old, and he made the very permanent decision to leave our world. I will never understand why, and frankly, I don’t want to. Understanding, having answers, isn’t going to bring him back, so I have no interest in dwelling there.
I have a daughter also. She’s ten. On the verge of all that teenage angst we all go through, and which my son could not handle. I’m sure you can imagine how afraid I am, worried about how we are going to make it through the next few years. I doubt I will breathe normally until she is fourteen, at least. Probably more like forty.
I’ve been cleaning my house, cleaning up after all the company, and cleaning in general. I’m one of those people who, when it’s time (okay, past time) to put away the Christmas decorations, I still leave out all the snowmen and snowflakes and mittens and anything that is more winter than Christmas. Except it’s March and spring has officially arrived and I’m a stress cleaner, so now I’m packing all those things away. And in the process I broke down in tears (again) because I’ve realized how incredibly hard Christmas will be this year. Not only for the obvious reasons (only one kid to celebrate with, only one kid in the traditional jammie pic, only one… everything), but also because of all those homemade decorations I’ve kept over the years. And all the personalized ornaments.
I’m also one of those people who loves, loves, loves personalized ornaments. And every single year, I’ve deliberately purchased a new ornament for each of my two children, with the intention of giving the baubles to them when they get married, so they can start their own traditions. Now, at some point down the line, my tree won’t be nearly as bare as it should be.
I didn’t mean for this to become such a melancholy post, although I will admit, writing is therapeutic. Shocking, right?
We’re going to keep on living. I mean, we don’t have a choice, right? My husband and I are pulling together; this is not going to tear us apart like I know it could so easily do. We are going to figure out how to help our daughter cope, how to help her live, help her be happy; and yet, somehow figure out how not to smother her, which I suspect could be dangerously easy to do. But we won’t. I hope.
One thing I will mention before I go, in the midst of a terrible tragedy that no parent should ever have to live through, I will say, we discovered an amazing support network. We knew we had friends, of course, and we knew they were pretty damn special. But we could not remotely comprehend just how truly blessed we are, until this happened. Everyone has rallied around us—our neighbors, our families, our co-workers, our friends, my author friends, most of whom I’ve never met in person. Everyone. We have had so much support during this incredibly difficult stage of our lives, I am humbled and stunned and so incredibly grateful. I could not have gotten through this without them—you all.
So thank you.
Tami Lund is an author, a wine drinker, and an occasional depressing blog post writer. Normally, however, she writes happily ever afters, one book at a time. Feel free to stalk her website: www.tamilund.com