Memories of Josh are triggered by various things. For example, walking into an American Eagle shop with my daughter the other day, and looking at the various items for boys, brought a lump to my throat. I couldn't get out fast enough.
We live in the Washington DC area and are being bombarded with snow. "Snowmageddon" is what they are calling it. Kids have been and will continue to be home from school for days. "You know who would've like all this snow and no school," I said to my husband the other night. Of course, I meant Josh. He was not particularly fond of school, except for the social aspect of it and would've liked having all of these snow days. Boy, he's really missing out, I say to myself while trying not to think of where his physical body lies.
We have two dogs, Buddy and Benji, who had a special relationship with our boy. The other night, while Tim and I were watching TV, they were on each end of the couch with their heads laying comfortably on the armrests. We had to get a picture because it reminded us of when Josh and Gillian were little and did the very same thing. I have posted the pictures below.
What I feel now is a dull ache and an underlying, perpetual sadness. Josh's death is not so much in the forefront of my mind but resides within the second or third layer of conscious thought. What was once a raw, open wound feels scabbed over, but still sore and vulnerable. I suppose this is the mind and heart's way of coping and trying to move forward.
Sometimes, though, while getting a cup of tea before sitting back down at my computer for work, it hits me. How could he be gone? Why did he do this? Why couldn't he have survived that dark night? Why didn't I do or say more? How could we not have known he was contemplating suicide? And I am right back to feeling the guilt, sorrow and pain - over 10 months later.
But then I realize that nothing I do or say can change what has happened. No amount of tears will bring our beloved Josh back. It is a tragic event that has occurred within our family and we have to find a way to cope, integrating it into the fabric of our lives and move on. One step at time. One day at a time. Helped by the love, support and prayers of extended family and friends.