I wrote this passage a few days before what would have been Henry's 14th birthday.
September 28th, 2017
I have often wondered, over the last 14 years, why it seems like the days leading up to Henry’s death, my own near death, and my Dad’s heart surgery seem almost more unsettling than the actual anniversary day itself. I have wondered if it’s because the anticipation of how something might feel is often worse than the actual experience of re-visiting it. It occurred to me today, as I walked home in the rain, from walking Jens to school; (the rain always reveals some deep realities to me) that maybe it is because the days leading up to all of those things were filled with joy, optimism, health, security, hope and happiness; an innocence of sorts. I was with the love of my life, in a healthy pregnancy, about to give birth to our first child and my Dad was still a superhero. All of those things took a good long trip out of town for me that day; October 1, 2003.
I share this, not to garner sympathy nor to stay locked away in my grief process. I share in hopes that acknowledging and validating it gives it less power. I share in hopes that being vulnerable gives others permission to be vulnerable around their pain as well.
Please know that if you encounter me, or my husband in the next few days and we seem a little scattered, or distracted or easily emotional; be kind. Our hearts are just a little closer to the surface right now and we could use a little grace.