I stopped in to say hello. The tears flowed from my eyes the moment I knelt down on the grass. They came so fast and so quick I didn’t even realize they were there. I was there alone, trying to catch my breath.
The grief comes in ebbs and flows these days. There are so many moments in the day I think of him and my heart aches a little for what might have been. It’s hard to understand the grief that comes with losing someone so long ago. Some days it’s fresh in my mind. Some days it’s so distant.
I will always wonder what might have been.
I will always grieve for the loss of what could have been.
As I sit here on the grass, my eyes fill with tears, my heart aches. I am reminded life isn’t always easy and you never know what life will throw your way. There are moments I think I should be over it, but I’m not. I will never be over it, but with each passing day, I know tomorrow the grief will feel different. Even though tomorrow will be different, I will always wonder.
Today marks 23 years, and I still wonder.
I wonder what it would feel like to watch my kids sit in his lap, snuggling close, reading their favorite book.
I wonder what it would feel like to watch as my kids caught their first fish with grandpa, holding it proudly for the camera, their grandpa’s hand resting on their shoulders. I can see his face filled with love and happiness.
I wonder what it would feel like to see him hold their tiny, soft hands in his big, rough, gentle hands.
I wonder if he would tickle them until they begged him to stop like he did to me when I was their age.
I wonder if he would tell the same stories to them as he did to me.
I will always wonder, but even though sometimes these thoughts fill my mind, I know they will still feel his love. The love they feel won’t be from a snuggle or holding hands. It won’t be from learning how to read a book with him. Our children’s love for him will be different, yes, but it won’t be any less.
I will tell them stories about him. They’ll know the things he would have loved to do with them, the things he tried really hard to be good at but sometimes didn’t quite hit the mark. I will tell them he would have loved them for who they are and not what they could do. I will tell them even though he isn’t here, he is waiting.
Even after all this time, the grief and sadness can bring me to my knees. Sometimes my heart aches no less than the day it happened. As I sit here alone, I realize it won’t always be this way. Tomorrow is a new day, and the feelings I have today will be different. I know every time I stop in to say hello, the sadness will be different. Sometimes it will overwhelm me. Sometimes it will be a distant memory.
I know I will always wonder what might have been, but I know he is with me and us, always.
Previously published on the author’s Facebook page