This morning, as I enter my third week of missing you, I decided to go to a local coffee shop. I’m sitting in a comfy chair with a bag full of things to do – a book, a journal, a crossword puzzle, and my computer. I thought about reading, but all I want to do is think about you and write you this note ❤️️. You consume my every thought.
Today, I’m learning how to grieve you in public. I haven’t been able to leave the house much these past couple weeks because I’m just too sad to interact with other people. Today, though, I’m giving it a try at a relaxed coffee shop, where I can disappear behind my computer screen and sink into another world with my headphones on.
Learning to be “normal” in public again is going to take me a while, my Jonah. When I look into the eyes of a cashier who’s smiling and making polite conversation, I feel like I have to put on a cheerful facade, even though behind my eyes there’s an ocean of sadness that nobody I meet in public will ever know or understand. Being cheerful back is usually so easy for me, but with grief in the way, it feels impossible.
My grief is building a big wall around me. What used to be easy interactions are now painful and difficult. I know it’ll get easier as time goes on, but right now, my dear son, I feel like it’s you and me and grief against the world.
Today, I took a small step. I got out of bed, I took a shower, I packed up some things to do, and I took myself and my wall of grief to the coffee shop. It took me hours after waking up to get here, but I did it. I find snippets of my strength down deep, and I think it’s important to act on them, so here I am.
As I write you this letter, that familiar knot is there in my throat, where it’s been living since I knew you earned your wings. It’s a constant part of my grief in these early stages of missing you. Letting the tears come helps sometimes, but I’m here in public, so right now I’ll do my best to hold them in.
Taking my grief out of the house is going to be hard, but I know it’s something I have to do. I will learn how to have normal interactions with people again, while still allowing my grief to be there, below the surface. I wonder if others will be able to see it hiding there, in my eyes, or if it’ll be hidden from view?
Right now, it’s all over my face. It’s in my slow movements, my frown, my tired eyes, my trembling lips as I hold the tears inside. You’re there in every moment…I miss you uncontrollably. My grief feels like an impassable mountain.
Yet, here I am in this coffee shop, doing my best to learn how to take my grief along to public places. I want to be strong. I want to love you and miss you and grieve for you, but I also want to be me again. I know that if I do things like this, like interacting with others in public, I’ll eventually figure out how those things fit together…how I can find my strong, cheerful self while still allowing grief to be there.
It’s going to be long journey, but we’re going to make it.
Love you, baby boy ❤️️