Just a few weeks ago, while cuddling Kenson in his bed for a few moments after bedtime, he whispered to me “Grandpa’s really not coming back, right?” Almost 4 months after Grandpa has been gone and he is still holding out a little bit of hope that maybe it’s not really the way it is. I found myself amazed at his thinking.
But even this big girl gets caught up in how surreal death is. How many times in the last few months have I felt like this was some really bad dream? Until something pricks my heart with reality.
Something like the words of a 5 year old who really wants his grandpa back so they can go feed cows together. It’s hearing someone recount how the harvest got done by friends, listening as familiar last names from my growing up days, names like Myers and Estes, Griebel, Ritchie, and Slagle, all flow out, mixed in with words like combine and auger wagon and corn. It’s seeing new old pictures of my dad, knowing his hair isn’t going to go gray, knowing his face will forever be that way in my mind, a strange mix of the way he was in the most recent photos with the way he was on the night he died, feeling the heavy weight of my brother on my back as he leans in with tears. It’s knowing that if I am in the car alone, without my kids, that the reality will probably crashing down, because when I am alone, when it is quiet, my mind most often goes there.
There just isn’t a fast way through it or an easy way over it.