The worst year of my life. The fastest year of my life. The longest year of my life.
What scares me about this horrific anniversary is that it’s only the first. Knowing I have to live the rest of my life without Charlie is what breaks me everyday. Today was not any harder for me than yesterday or last week because I face Charlie’s death every second of everyday. This isn’t a “sometimes” thing. The only comfort or peace I’ve been able to accept is that the worst year is over. At least I think it is. I’ve read that some people felt that the second year was the toughest and I’ve also read that the fifth year is the hardest. Who knows? All I know is that grief is as unique as the person carrying it. Honestly, I can’t imagine ever experiencing the soul numbing pain that consumed every waking second of my life in those early months again. I know that I do feel different now. Not better. Different. One doesn’t get better after the death of their child. We just learn how to better carry our grief. That doesn’t mean there aren’t days where it’s just too much. The weepy days when the smallest little thing triggers a bout of crying. The angry days when the smallest little thing sets me off. These days will forever be a part of who I am.
Today was extremely difficult. Make no mistake about it. But everyday is difficult. We have an amazing support network that has helped us through since day one. It was humbling and uplifting to see all of the family and friends at church to support us. The amount of cards, emails, and text messages reminded us that we are not walking this unfathomable journey alone. The number of visits to this blog today and since I launched it has surprised me. I struggled to start this blog and I constantly struggle with its continuation. I was concerned that people would not read it because they wouldn’t want to “go to the pain” of reading about me getting my heart ripped out. I am concerned it not as much about Charlie and his life as it is about my life without him. I try to balance the two but I’m never satisfied with what I write but that’s just me being tough on myself. As usual. I tell Vanessa after every post that it was my last post. I’ve told my sister Liz I’ve quit this blog countless times. I’ve written 23 posts since June and after this one I’ll have had over 30,000 visits to my blog. I realized pretty early on that my writing has helped some other bereaved parents. Someone who lost a child is reading. Someone who lost a child is watching the videos. Someone who lost a child is looking at the pictures. Someone that loves someone who lost a child is reading,watching, and looking too. That’s enough for me to keep posting.
It’s been one year since my soul has been obliterated. Personally, today didn’t bring anymore pain or grief than what I already fight everyday. I miss Charlie like crazy but I don’t miss him any less today than I did one year ago. It seems like I haven’t held Charlie in an eternity. It’s been the longest year of my life. It feels like yesterday when he died in my arms. It’s been the fastest year in my life. I haven’t been with Charlie in a year. It’s been the worst year of my life.
Below is a video of pictures that my cousin made for us right after Charlie died. It has his favorite songs dubbed over which means that youtube will eventually take it down. If you’d like a copy leave a comment and I’ll try to mail you one. The music kills me. I remember Char walking around the house with my iPhone singing along to the songs. He loved what he called, “The Alabama Song,” so much that he knew all of the words of the first two verses.