In ten short days it will mark five years since we lost Luke. Five. Years. Truthfully, I have been a train wreck since January. When you lose someone you love, the reality is there are more hard days than good days, no matter how long it has been. They just get… less awful. Finding that video of Luke a few months back made him seem *here* again and after the newness and joy of it faded, the feelings around his absence grew more intense. Sigh. Such is grief.
It is Year Five and here I am. Waiting for The Day. In the past I have used the people around me who also loved Luke to bolster me up – our friend group, his friend group, Logan’s friend group. They come over that day and we hug and cry and laugh. We mostly laugh. And did I mention we hug? lol It is me after all. Most importantly, we lay eyes on one another, and in doing so, when we really look into one another’s eyes, we can check in on each other. I can look in their eyes and see if they are really doing okay; they can look in mine and know I never will be, but I am better, less tense, because they are there. One thing I know for sure, out of losing my boy, is that life is about showing up. Now with the Covid-19 pandemic, people can’t show up. So now what?
It is Year Five. Fives are things we celebrate, you know, under usual circumstances. They are the big birthdays we mark, the wedding anniversaries, the pounds we lose, lol. All counted by fives. And we throw parties and send cards to mark these occasions. But what do you do when it has been five years since you lost part of your heart? Before this whole shelter in place thing happened I thought maybe we would plan something and try and get the lovelies to join us. They have spread out and have lives of their own these days, you understand, but I thought maybe there was a chance we could do SOMETHING. But what now?
It is Year Five. My feelings are equal parts acceptance and what the actual f*#$. Just this week I was down at the cemetery staring at the dates on the back of Luke’s headstone wondering how the heck this has become my life. How did this happen? And yet, deep down, I know how far I have come since those first days. Since my Day One. Losing Luke shattered me, but I like to think of my heart like an old teacup that had the misfortune of being dropped one Sunday morning. You love it, so you take the time to glue it back together, as best you can, and place it back on the shelf. And so, too, is the condition of my heart: No longer in pieces, still able to fulfill its purpose, a little worse for the wear.
It is Year Five.