Wednesday, May 17, 2017
My Heavy Heart
Not surprisingly, the month of May is weighing heavily on my heart. Seventeen days in and having made it through another Mother’s Day I thought maybe, just maybe, I might get through it without falling down. Well, I was wrong. As I digitally put pen to paper to write you this letter you have to know that I’ve verbally penned a thousand letters to you already this month. For a long while I’ve been able to spin a positive message on my pain… but this month, it’s just too much.
The lead up to your “Angel date” and more specifically the throwback to what was your last full week of life is one that has repeatedly been the most painful. The struggle to find balance is a challenge and the recipe that mixes the ingredients of work and home changes from day to day and moment to moment. I tried to be at work today, Will. I thought that being with the kids at school would be the distraction that I needed but it didn’t play out that way. I know that being in the school you loved can be a double-edged sword and though I’ve experienced both sides, for a long time I have found incredible comfort within those walls. Your happy place was my happy place, too, however, finding myself in your hallway and in your classroom and ultimately staring at your locker today sent me into a tailspin that I couldn’t recover from. All of those triggers together today were just too much for me.
In hindsight what I needed today was to be at home inside the memory-laden walls of our home with Dad and our big, brown chocolate lab. As I write Finn is beside me (one could argue he is half on top of me) his head on my lap. I quickly take notice of his chest as it rises up and down rhythmically with each breath. I stop typing concentrating on matching my own breath with his, the steady in and out, inhale and exhale… I close my eyes and caress his warm, velvety ears and my heart begins to feel lighter, the sting of my tears not quite as sting-y. The heaviness of the morning dissipates a little in this moment and I feel grateful to be right where I am. I believe the lesson in these waves of overwhelming grief is to let them happen, to ride them out so to speak. Eventually the tears have to spill; after all a heart can only hold so much pain at one time.
In the rain/snow mix that is also today (how fitting?) I have found my spot on the couch with a blanket and the warmth of a fire burning in the fireplace. It is here now that I will sink into sleep while I think of you and happier times. I will reminisce about when our world was perfect and my heart didn’t know the heaviness of living without you.
I love you, Willy. Like a bus. A big, beautiful bus with a heart full of light and brown velvety chocolate lab ears.