For all the Moms and Dads who have a child missing from the “first day of school” photos.
You are not forgotten.
The barrage of photos on my Facebook hit me harder than I imagined they would this year. Please don’t misunderstand. I enjoyed seeing the photos. I even liked and loved many of them! Especially my family and friend’s little ones! I’ve just been wishing in my momma heart that I could have taken one too.
You see, my own son would be in preschool this year. We should haven been buying school clothes, supplies. Picking out a backpack. What would he have chosen? Cars? Dinosaurs? These are the things I ponder when I see the back to school displays. What would he have wanted? What would have been his favorite color? I have ideas in my head of what he might have liked, what clothes he might have worn, but these are just thoughts in my mind… thoughts that aren’t often shared.
Grief is funny in that you can’t predict when it will rear it’s head. When it will drop in suddenly and unannounced. It might be a daily activity you’ve done a million times, but suddenly it triggers a memory and then “oh, it’s you again.” The unwelcome guest who has taken up a permanent residence. Sometime’s it’s just a tugging and other times leaves you breathless with tears, but you can’t ever be ready for when it will strike.
What I’ve learned through my own personal grief is to take this unwelcome resident and embrace it. Don’t fight it or push it away. It’s not going anywhere after all, so we may as well learn to live together. Because what I’ve found is that sometimes this grief brings up very painful memories. But other times, it brings forth funny memories, happy memories, and memories where there is so much love bursting through, it practically leaves a glow in my heart.
So while this unwelcome guest, turned unwelcome resident, turned almost “partner,” and I had a very rocky start, we’ve learned to live together. I might feel terrible while bawling my eyes out, but I honestly do feel better after. I’ve learned that grief is a form of love, and having an outlet to express that love helps me get through all the other days.
So to all the other Moms and Dads out there who should have a child starting preschool, middle school, high school, college… you are not forgotten.
Sending so much love your way.