October 8, 2013

What is the significance of the date of October 8, 2013? The significance to me?

October 8, 2013, was the last day I felt fully comfortable in my skin. It was the last day without the constant weight of grief. It was the last day I felt absolute hope.

Now, before you all get worried about me, don’t. By saying that, I am acknowledging and making space for the reality of my own emotions. Those statements are my truth, but they aren’t the entire story.

October 8, 2013, was the last day we saw Sam alive. It was a gorgeous fall day in Vermont. The leaves were turning; the sun was shining; the air was cool but not cold. Ben played a great game of soccer, Sam cheering loudly in the stands. That afternoon, Sam and I had watched Law and Order together, and he’d helped me with chores. Later, he rode with my parents to see Ben’s game.

On those bleachers, in the sunshine, was the last time Sam hugged us. Full of joy, laughter, and love, he gave us tight hugs before leaving with my parents. Later that night, he called to say goodnight and tell us he loved us.

Then came October 9, 2013.

Since that phone call on the morning of the 9th, I have changed. I usually feel out of my element, almost like my shoes are too big or too small, but my entire body feels that way. Even on the most beautiful and hopeful days, days with love and laughter, there is a tinge of sadness, a weight on my heart.

I’m not alone in this. All who loved Sam deeply, still love him deeply, were changed with that phone call on the 9th. We have all had to learn who we are again.

For me, my emotions are closer to the surface now, both joy and sadness. I think I love even more deeply, and feel freer to express that love. I try to see people with the eyes of love and acceptance that Sam always had. As Twiddle says, I try to “love relentlessly.”

Yesterday, I missed the woman I was on October 8th, 2013. I missed her optimism, her joy, her knowing who she was fully.

Today? Today I know who I am now, or who I am trying to become. Today, and every day, I miss Sam, but I also know my job is to carry forth his love into the world.

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