I wonder how you felt about the passing of Chris. Did you know him personally? Were you in his class? Are you his teacher or maybe an extended family member? Maybe you didn't know him at all.
How did you hear about the accident? We're you stuck in that dreadful Northway traffic? Hear it on the news? Read an Internet post or see it in the morning paper?
What did you do? Stop and shake your head in disbelief? Cry? Turn on the TV for more information? Make a phone call for confirmation? Maybe you did nothing.
You don't need to answer; I'm just sitting here mulling it over. I'm in Christopher's room...again.
I spend a lot of time in here. I stop in his doorway often to look around.
I usually talk to his beautiful senior picture. He's a really handsome boy. His features were recently changing from that childlike pudge to a more chiseled face. His chin and cheekbones were becoming more defined. I wonder how different he would look in just these past three months.
I see Chris' friends and notice physical changes in them. Maturity is pouring over them like water. They make me so proud. The Late teen years bring an awful lot of changes and I imagine the stress of all this has sped the process a bit. They handle themselves well thru the sadness.
But back to you; since I don't want to be me right now; I think I'd prefer to have your life for a bit. I just really want a break from mine, even for a few minutes. I hope you had a good morning. I'm assuming you did because that's what I'm picturing! A leisurely shower, hot cup of coffee and a light breakfast before starting the day. OK, I'll be a realist and guess someone needed something from you, maybe your child couldn't find his book bag or missed the bus, your spouse was crabbing about something, your sibling was pushing your buttons, you lost your keys, whatever. Regardless of what it was, I'm gonna carry your stuff for a bit and put my grief down. It's heavy.
I’ll take the dog peeing on the rug or realizing there's no milk in the fridge for cereal. Those I can handle. They go away.
I wonder what your day will be like. Classes or a full day at work? Maybe you're a stay at home mom or dad and heading to a play group or the library. Maybe you have sports practice or an exercise class tonight? I once did all that. Good memories of a full and hectic life. I'm gonna dwell there with you for a while. Those were fun days; I like the feelings that go with reminiscing there. That was a much lighter time in my life, busy but happy.
I'm trying to get back to those good times. It's a challenge. The weight of this loss can be so incredibly heavy. Sometimes I never want to allow myself to smile again. It helps me to remember what your days are like because mine used to be just like them. They're much different now but I do like going back in my memory bank to relive a simpler, milder time. It helps me get past my grief and get up and keep moving.
I don't want to linger in sorrow. I know I won't. I have my moments though. I'm in the midst of one now. I'm going to finish writing as I sit here in Christopher's room and then I'm going to do something productive. I have some notes to write, bills to pay, a dog to walk and laundry to fold.
I give myself opportunities to be down and feel sorry for myself. It's OK. I get back up. Today I opted to hop in your shoes for a minute. I feel better now. I'll continue to be me but I appreciate you sharing of yourself. The pretending is over. I know the reality of the situation and the magnitude of my son’s death on my life. I just needed a release for a few minutes to regroup and regain my strength. I pray it gets easier with each day.
I know my cross to bear is not nearly the heaviest. I have good health and a strong mind and body. I’ll be just fine. I’ll lean on you again sometime when I'm feeling kind of weak. Thanks for holding me up today and allowing me some time in your world. You've encouraged me and you're probably completely unaware. :-)
Thank you for reading.