May 14, 2022
It’s May. Again. The month I shy away from, still. Dread, still. The month that is hard to write down, still. The month that conjures up deep pain, still. And, the month that measures time like no other. I pinch myself wondering how one week short of 11 years can still feel like yesterday and forever, still.
The still part feels like I’m stuck. And maybe that is what I have let May become for me? As I ponder and dread and feel all these things that seem to define the month of May, maybe being stuck doesn’t have to be a bad thing? Maybe being stuck or “still” allows me to sit with you a little longer, to honour and remember you with more intention than usual. Though sadness still creeps in, because that is, after all, the price we pay when we lose a loved one, it can also be a time to be stuck in the deep love part of loss. And, maybe, just maybe that is the gift, the silver-lining so to speak. To be stuck on you is not a bad thing at all!
In the beginning of my grief journey I would never ever, ever have believed that gratitude and loss could live in the same sentence, in the same breath. But, Willy, I do believe that it is possible sometimes. It is not possible to be grateful that you died, but it surely is possible to be grateful that you lived. It was too short, way too short, but it was better than no life with you at all.
Of course, I wish things were different. Oh, what I’d give for a re-do of that tragic day. The shoulda, coulda, woulda’s still seep into my thoughts from time to time but I know that I have to push them aside as it is unproductive and impossible to change the events of May 22, 2011. It is nothing short of torture to dwell there, and besides, if there was a way, believe me, I’d have found it.
Instead I will sit in the still of May and celebrate being stuck in the love part of losing you. Not just for May, but for every day, every month, every year, still.
I miss you, my sweet boy. Still.
And I love you. Still. Like a big ‘ole bus stuck in love. By the grace of God, that love bus is plenty big for both of us. Still.
I too still think of Will often and Kale still wears the Will bands everyday. I share some of your hardest memories and my heart will forever hurt for you and will always wish things were different. My heart feels better to hear you laugh and to see your beautiful smile as with time you have learned to live with the loss of Will and been able to once again enjoy the life around you, although much different, while still honoring him every day. You are strong Joni and give hope to anyone just entering this journey.
Thanks, Mary. There are few who know my heart better than you, my friend. I am forever grateful for you and all you did for me, Murray, and the boys. Time does indeed soften the edges, thank God. Will is alive and well in the hearts of those who continue to carry his light. And that is the ultimate gift of loss. Love you so much.