7 Weeks

It has been seven weeks since my son passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.  I have learned so much.

I have learned things about my son that I did not know, but that is a good thing.

I have learned things about my son that I did not know, and that is a bad thing.

I have learned that people do not know what to say, and that is okay.

I have learned that people say and do the wrong things, and I forgive them.

I have learned that when you ask people to open their wallets and donate to a foundation working tirelessly on finding a cure for your son’s disease, they do.  More than $4,000 has been raised to-date in my son’s memory.

I have learned that people will send you cards and emails with caring words of sympathy and hope.  Some are even from people that are unknown to me.  I have received over 100 notes.

I have (finally) learned the exact cause of my son’s death after waiting for what seemed like an eternity.   For over 12 years I lived with the knowledge that Type 1 Diabetes could take my son’s life.  And.  It.  Did.

I have learned that parents can bury a child, even though it defies what we consider to be “normal” in the chain of life events: Children bury their parents.  Parents don’t bury their children.

I have learned that returning to work less than two weeks after my son’s passing did NOT provide a sanctuary away from my grief, so I quit my job.

I have learned that grief is both mental and physical.  My body has been out of sorts since hearing the words, “Your son is deceased.”

I have learned that it is okay to pass along his clothes, shoes, diabetes supplies and more. It is comforting to have others make use of his things before they go out of style, or in the case of insulin, expire.

I have learned that sometimes when I am donating something of his, I stop and wonder,  what if he comes back and I have given away his things?  The author, Joan Didion, referred to this as “magical thinking.”

I have learned (actually remembered) that when you see a Cardinal, it is a representative of a loved one that has passed.  They are paying you a visit.  I have seen LOTS of Cardinals, or perhaps it is the same one?

I have learned that he can still “mess” with me from the other side.  The alarm in his car goes off suddenly and repeatedly for no humanly logical reason.

I have learned that I begin every day thinking about him, and I end every day thinking about him, and I think about him nonstop in-between.  And when I wake in the middle of the night, my groggy thoughts immediately turn to him.

I have learned that his passing has created a ripple effect like the one that occurs in a body of water when you toss in a large rock.  The rock’s impact on the water creates small waves that drift on and on.  So many people have been affected.

I have learned that I miss him EVERY DAY, but I already knew that I would.  He was my son and only biological child.

I have learned that I still have many questions, and I know that some of them will never be answered.

I have learned that he is okay.  Early one morning during a hazy state of sleep, I heard his distant, almost whispering voice say,  “I am home.”

I have so much yet to learn.  It has only been 7 weeks.