March 23rd 2018, it snowed here in in Washington. As we spent our final moments with Hunters earthly body, the largest snowflakes fell from the sky. Everything was so cold. But I was grateful for that snow because it was my confirmation that Hunter safely made it to heaven. My mama heart didn’t have to worry. You see, for a few moments after we lost Hunter, I went in to a panic. I sobbed over his sweet little face and mumbled “where are you bubba? I need to know where you are.” Hunter has always made my feelings a priority since the very moment he was diagnosed with cancer. He spent so much time reassuring me he was “oh-tay” over the last two and a half years and I truly believe that he held on for so long after relapse, so I had time to prepare myself. He sent me that snow, because he knew I needed everything that it represented.
I will forever look at snow in the most special way.
But the seasons are changing. The cold drifted away, and spring came. Now even some days it feels a lot like summer. Warm mornings and evenings are becoming more and more, and it feels like March 23rd is worlds behind us. Grief can make time feel so weird. Some moments it feels like decades have passed. And other moments it feels like it just happened. I can hardly remember him in my arms, and then yet it can also feel like I watched him pass just yesterday. But one thing never changes. The fact that time always keeps moving forward.
The world keeps spinning no matter what. It's shocking sometimes when I really think about it. My son died. He DIED! And yet the world just kept going. In tragic events we think the world might just stop, because ours sure did. But it keeps moving, it keeps going. And often, that is one of the greatest gifts as well as the greatest pains, of grief.
We need our world to pick up and move or else we get so stuck. We have to find it in us to at some point, to put one foot in front of the other and keep participating in life. If we give up, we’ll get left behind and that just adds pain. Its finding the perfect balance of continuing life yet also holding on to the past.
We are now in to a whole new part of the year that Hunter is not here for. No longer can I think about just last week and how he was right next to me. The weather is different, the yard is different, I got a new living room rug, time is continuing, changing, and he’s missing it. We are getting closer to being further away from the last time he was here, every single second. And that just shatters my heart. I find myself struggling to make fun plans, knowing he won’t be there. I find myself wondering what swim shorts he would have picked out this year, or how many splash pads we would need to visit. I am seeing that time is robbing me of my fresh thoughts of Hunter, and every day that passes they are becoming distant memories.
But time has also blessed us in the most unimaginable ways. Our memories of Hunter, they are so incredibly amazing, and most of them can make us feel like they just happened yesterday. They carry us on some of the hardest days. It’s a clear reminder that no amount of time will ever erase Hunter from our lives. As time continues, so does Hunter. I just have to remember that it is not in a way I ever dreamed. Instead of time progressing his life, it only progresses his memory.
Time can be tricky and sometimes it's really hard mixing the past with the future, but in grief that’s the only option we have. To fully mix them together, so that we have the sweet and cherished memories, while we also bravely continue to take steps in to new seasons of life. Taking Hunters memory as we keep forward in to the future, that is good grief.
Hunter loved shrimping at the cabin. This was our first season of shrimping with out him, so we brought along his favorite kitty!
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