Grief is not living in the past; grief is missing the ones I love in the present. I do not miss yesterday or long for bygone days. I miss not what was, but what isn’t.

Benjamin Black holeMy pain today is based in today’s loss, not yesterday’s. It’s like a planet out in space that orbits a black hole. No one can see that the gravitational pull of my life is forever determined by the love that imploded. No one knows that my loss will always be a factor in the trajectory of my days, but I feel it with every step.

Matt had a dream a couple of months before he died. At breakfast he told me that in his dream he was a professional baseball player with a wife and two kids. As he spoke there was a sorrow in his words. I, too, shared his sorrow.

I am a baseball fan. At least once a game I think of Matt’s dream. I look into the faces of the players that are now the age Matt would have been. I rejoice in their good fortune to be doing what they love. And I miss my child. I couldn’t care less if he struck out or hit a home run. I just miss seeing him at the plate.

For years after Matt died I had this reoccurring nightmare. I was always frantically looking for him. There were always different scenes, but the theme remained the same. He was lost or just out of reach. I was supposed to meet him, but I couldn’t get there. Every time this frantic search finally woke me I would be shaken to the core. This dream and all its manifestations haunted me for over fifteen years.

I don’t know what happened or how it happened. But a few years back the dream reached both a crescendo and a finale – I found him. At the end of the dream we stood on the balcony together overlooking the skyline. I’ve never had the dream of searching for him again.

Benjamin Tied to the pastI wish dreams came true, but my life is still in search. Even though I do not search for Lydia, Matt or Bryan, I still find myself in search of me without them. I don’t know if that even makes sense, but it is what I feel. I feel there is something always missing in this moment. It is the shadow of night that follows my days.

I don’t know why people think grieving is being tied to the past. Grief is acknowledging the presence of what is not present today. What would I give to pick up the phone and hear their voices? Everything.

But I have learned to fully live today with what is here and with what is not. I’ve accepted that this is a part of my path. I will continue to love baseball and miss my child. I will hear of others who have grandchildren and rejoice with them and miss the grandchildren I’ll never have. I have learned that love and loss can co-exist in my existence.

I have walked through many a day in great joy and peace. My life is not over. I live my days hoping to give back to life the gifts I’ve received. I have been blessed by love, especially the love I found loving my children. They above all else taught me the precious gift of life. But I still wish when the phone rings that it would be one of them on the other line.

Benjamin Blessed by love

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