Sitting with Mark around the fire pit tonight and reflecting on everything, even though I tried to hold them back the tears began to flow. Connor was my “fire bug”. He loved to light sticks and wood on fire. He was forever asking if we could have a fire, so he could burn the marshmallows so they were not edible and then end up feeding them to Cooper.
All those memories came flooding back, they couldn’t have been clearer if Connor was right there in front of me. Rolling on the grass, tussling with the dog and laughing like only he can.
I have been told many times that I am not even a year into this tragedy and I am doing better than people thought. What I do know is that as we creep closer and closer to the year mark I feel like I am falling farther and farther down the rabbit hole.
Last year when the holidays rolled around I was numb, I went through the motions, doing what needed to be done. But not really knowing what I was doing. Numb will not be the emotion this year, I will feel everything, and of that I am afraid.
My heart feels a lot like the fire pit as it burned down. Full of pain, and the burning feeling that there is a huge hole in my heart and soul. The knowledge that losing a child makes you a different person, a person who has to put one foot in front of the other and learn to take the emotions as they come. That is not something that I’ve ever been good at. I’m a planner and I want things to run smoothly and according to plan. Grief takes planning out of the equation, because there are just days that no matter how much I’ve planned, my heart says “Nope we aren’t doing that today, and the tears take over.” So instead now I will plan for these emotional roadblocks and land mines. Secure in the knowledge that whatever comes my way I can handle it, the burning pit of grief will not consume me. It may lick at the tender parts, but I will keep the flames at bay.