Three Years

Three years later it still feels unreal.

A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of Robbie and images of him remain within sight throughout the house. Still, when I think of him, my mind often goes back to that final harrowing week rather than other times of his brief life. As a result, the grief lingers despite the lessening of the emotional pain that comes with time.

We’ve continued to move forward, not letting his loss derail our lives. There remain boxes and bags of his things that we haven’t brought ourselves to sort or trash and I watch his peers becoming adults now, post-college, furthering their educations or beginning their careers and I can’t help but wonder what he would be doing now.

This year we finally planted some flowers around his gravestone and I go frequently to water them and ensure they will thrive and reseed themselves so the space grows lush. I find I can’t linger there, do my watering, talk to him a bit and move on.

Today, we’re trying to distract ourselves as best we can but the memories are particularly strong and we miss him with unusual intensity.

7 comments

  • Tim O'Shea

    There’s no timeline on grief. I’m glad you’re able to give voice to it via your writing, that’s critical and important, considering some folks keep it bottled inside. Also, your words might give solace to someone else struggling with grief three or five or 10 years out from their loss. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  • I hear you, Bob.

    Nine years next Christmas in my Dad’s case. And what Tim says is truth.

  • Thoughts and prayers, amigo.

  • Rahadyan

    You are your family are in my thoughts. May memories of Robbie be a blessing.

  • Elke Weiss

    I’ll be doing my charity work today with him in mind, as well as your entire family.

  • Lorraine Anderson

    Prayers going your way.

    I feel a little of your pain; I never knew Robbie, but I visited my Mother’s gravestone today– this was her birthday.

    I agree with what Tim said.

  • Deepest sympathies. My dad will be gone four years this Christmas (well, December 17) and I know exactly what you mean. Every now and then, I’ll realize that a few days have gone by without my thinking of him. And that makes me realize all the things that have happened in my life since his passing that I never had the chance to share with him.

    As you say, you move on, but I think that the absence of a loved one is every bit a part of us as their presence. And that’s okay.

    Like you, I have stronger memories of my dad at the end than other, happier times. Maybe that’ll never change, either. When I realize I miss him, though, it’s because of something happy I want to share with him. So that’s something, I think. I’d like to believe he still knows, even though he’s not here with us any more.

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