Thirteen years ago tomorrow I held Alison in my arms as she took her last breaths. I of course remember much of the day and certain details, however I no longer remember it all like it was yesterday, and some days I wish I could remember it that vividly. In those early years I never imagined I would get to a point where the pain wasn’t sharp and overwhelming, something I often wanted to be able to run from yet could never escape.
Parents often ask me if these dates ever get “better”. I’m not sure what better looks like, but they don’t hurt in the same debilitating way they used to. And that is bittersweet. As crazy as it sounds there are times when I wish I felt it like I did in the beginning in some weird way thinking it would bring me closer to my time with Alison here on earth. The good news is I still feel close to Alison, she is always just a thought away. We share moments together almost every day. And sometimes I still wish I could feel the weight of her in my arms and hug her tight. I wish she could reach up and rub my cheek like she used to do.
The upcoming date of July 15th has been on my mind for over a week. Besides having the root beer float that I have in her honor every birthday and death date, every year I make sure my calendar is clear of obligations. A day for me to do and to feel whatever arises, or doesn’t. Whatever the case may be. The point is to give myself room and safe space with no pressure. It’s what works for me. As far as I know no one does, but if anyone judges me for still doing this thirteen years later I don’t care. It’s me still taking care of myself and nurturing my connection to Alison.
Unfortunately this year a large race is happening tomorrow, during which I will be with a crowd of people. All day. So, I’ve set aside some time this evening to acknowledge her. And have already decided that tomorrow I’m allowed to be as quiet and “anti-social” as I want. I’m allowed to share the significance of the date. I’m allowed to keep it to myself. The key is I’m being gentle with myself and holding Alison’s memory dear to my heart. Sharing her with those who I want to share her with and not with those I don’t.
Peace and aloha,