Stung Again

Will with Jamie and Lauren, at the precious age of 12

Will at twelve, with Jamie and Lauren

Friday, November 22, 2013 (2 ½ years)

Hey Will,

It’s late and I can’t sleep.  The clock on my bedside table marks the last few minutes of another 22nd day of the month and it stings like all the others.  I felt it when I woke this morning.  There was a sluggishness about getting out of bed, about having to go through the motions of this day; another day where it would take a little more effort to put one foot in front of the other. And so after a few minutes of staring out of the window at the sun just beginning to give light to the day I got up and dawdled to the shower. It’s always so easy to cry there; the tears run to the tips of my toes not just down my cheeks to be wiped away with a tissue or my sleeve. Today these tears were as necessary and natural as washing my face and brushing my teeth; tears that have become a routine part of the 22nd day of every month.

When I pulled into the parking lot at school this morning I whispered your name and asked you to help me hold it together today and it worked, Will!  I worked through my day with a smile, but it did sting a little each time I saw the date written on a student’s paper, each time I saw it on a computer screen, each time I saw it written on the whiteboard in every classroom I walked into today, but I’ve come to expect it and so its a little easier when I know its going to sting instead of being taken aback or surprised. That feels more like a punch to the stomach and though that still happens from time to time it is a little less now.  Sadly, to me that can only mean that more time has passed and that I’ve gotten used to what it feels like to be punched in the stomach.  I was working with a grade seven boy who was celebrating his twelfth birthday today and that stung too.  Looking at him took me back to your grade seven year and to you being twelve and how it stopped there.  “Twelve” is yet another word that stings.

The next 22nd day of the month will be 3 days before Christmas and that one will sting more; more like one of those punches to the stomach.  As Christmas approaches the tears will multiply and getting out bed will become more difficult. This I know now and there is no stopping the wave of sadness that lasts throughout the holiday season.  It’ll never be right, never be ok that you’re not physically here with us.  It just is what it is and sadly nothing can change it.  I do feel your presence with us spiritually but oh how I miss seeing you, touching you, smelling you.

Thanks for helping me get through the day, Will.  And thanks for letting me know that you are with me on this new day, the 23rd day of November.  I woke this morning and the first thing I did before getting out of bed was reach for my iPad on the bedside table to re-read my letter. I opened the Songza app and the first song that played was “Mr. Blue Sky”.  I’ll take that as a sign that you are here with me and it made me smile.  It’s no secret that you are my little Mr. Blue Sky; you always will be.

Love you like a bus,


10 thoughts on “Stung Again

  1. Hi Joni, my heart breaks every time I read your love letters your words are so powerful and a Mom aching to hold her son again. You are always in my thoughts love Lyn.Xx.


    • Thanks, Lyn. I dream of the day that I will hold my Will again. Makes me think of the expression we sometimes use… “I would die to see him” or “I am dying to hold him again.” There is much truth to those words. Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts. I can feel it. Xoxo


  2. The 14th used to do the same for me. Firtst losing my dad, then Herman and my mom. All but one of my childrens grandparents. Littlr do I know know how hard that was did years later I was faced with losing a son. Hugs Joni….
    When Murray phoned Tony and it came up that we weren’t renting til the middle of Jan. since we planned a Disney and cruise including Tamara. Murray excitedly said the whole family Curtis, Kris everybody.. Tony said no Curtis cant make it and they laughed…. So nice to know we can except the unexceptable and cope the best we can.
    It marks ten years next fall and it makes me anxious to know I need to do something extra special cause we should. Today I am quilting (yes after all these years) fabric that Curtis picked out for a quilt a table runner with a pattern I am designing with flying geese, I am looking at snow man and thinking yes they should go on this as well. In the center with be an embroidered light for their light will always be burning. I can use this one in the winter months since his birthday is in Jan. again still miss him so much…. always part of the family as Murray so easily slipped lol. xoxo


    • Hi Carol! I know you get all that I write to Will about because you walk in the same shoes as me. Family losing family. I love that you are working on a quilt to honor Curtis! You will cherish it always and it will be such a nice reminder of him. Glad that you have picked up your quilting again. You are so good at it! I didn’t know of Murray’s blip in mentioning the whole family incl Curtis but was happy that Tony could laugh at it. That takes time. But true that he will be with you as he is everyday. Love you, Carol.


  3. Joni, I so feel all the longing and pain in your words. Once again you write so beautifully about the things you need to say to Will. The theme is so painful every time, but you do have a way of writing that is different from anyone’s I have ever read. I never realized that when parents lose a child that there are so many reminders, especially dates (and numbers) that will forever be that “sting” you talk about. My family and my friend are forever reminded by those dates, days, numbers, etc. because they are tied into the loss of something precious. I am so sorry that this happens over and over again; it’s not fair; plain and simple. I remember my cousin telling me that they would never forget the day my oldest son was born….because it was they day they lost their brother, my cousin. I have to admit it caught me and I actually felt some guilt that my son’s birth would forever remind them of a day someone they loved, died. I’m sure that Will is always with you on those awful days that test you more than usual. He’s there, Joni….I wish it were a physical presence too…
    What a great, loving picture of Will and the girls. I know Lauren as she goes to school with my kids. I also remember how hard it was for her when Will passed away…sigh.
    I also am so sorry that Christmas is an “extra’ hard time for people who have lost family. Everything about Christmas is geared toward this image of joy, family, good will, togetherness, sharing…. everything that is no within your grasp. And as a mother, I can only imagine that you have an even harder time as you undoubtedly feel responsible for making everyone else’s Christmas a great one. Even though you are trying to hold it all together for everyone else, I know you are missing a big piece of your heart at Christmas and every other special occasion. I have no words of comfort or wisdom, Joni. I can only send you good thoughts, hope for some peace, hugs, and offer my prayers.
    And please don’t be worried that because that “punch in the stomach” isn’t as brutally painful as it first was, that it somehow means that it “doesn’t mater” as much. It just means that you are finally getting a tiny bit of relief from that relentless pain you feel and carry every moment of every day. Please don’t feel guilty about that…



    • Thank you, Cheryl. Your words are beautiful and mean so, so much. You have made my heart sigh but in a happy way this morning. Your comment will be one I will read over and over again. We must find time for a coffee sometime.


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