They would have been 10 last month.
A decade old. Probably 5th grade. I wonder if they would have decided to switch places at school some days. Or if I would have ever gotten them confused – like when I get mad at Bella or Char and call them the wrong name first.
I didn’t write about it last month because there was too much going on. The school year was ending, and there are still moments where the ending of things I love feels a little like a death. The grief seems awfully close to the same feeling I know so well already.
So I left writing alone.
10 years seems pivotal in grief. I remember wondering what it would feel like 10 years later.
In the thick of my grief and trauma, I couldn’t have imagined I’d ever be ok.
(Spoiler – I’m only partially ok lol)
They impact everything still. How strange it is. Two little boys I held for a few hours – they never spoke to me. Never opened their eyes. Never made their own memories or walked through my door. Never saw daylight or celebrated a real birthday.
They changed my whole world even a decade later.
I bought a brick at Char’s preschool to place in a garden/labyrinth dedicated to a preschool mama who passed away years ago. Every time I walk past it, I look down at what was etched:
For our three boys.
Who should be here.
Instead of heaven.
It’s been a long time since I slid down on my floor and sobbed so hard I thought I’d never come back from the grief that held me. Sometimes I miss that rawness, how it felt like everything I’d gone through was just a breath away from where I sat. If I just held still enough at that moment…
And now I can look at some of the small pile of pictures I have.
I can think of those memories, and the pain hits less sharply.
There’s a verse in Luke that says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
I wonder if she did that after Jesus died too. When the grief wasn’t quite as fresh. If she tucked all that way and thought of it as she grew older and watched her other children live.
It feels like that’s what I’ve done. I treasured up all those things – the good, the hard, and the traumatic – and I ponder them in my heart.
10 years – and the rest of my life.