It has been one year comprised of 366 days since that day that started off… well… nearly perfect. In the grand scheme of things, it is 1/8 the amount of time I spent in elementary school, 1/4 the amount of time I spent in high school, 1/13 the amount of time I have spent as an EMT, and 1/33 of the amount of time of my entire life that has just passed. On the intimate level… it has been the hardest year I have ever had. It was the first year I was without definitive reason to get up in the morning, the first year that I dreaded occasions others were celebrating, and the first year that I felt a true piece of myself was missing. It was one year that has felt both like a decade has gone by and like only a day has past.
Not a day in this year has gone by when I have not been reminded of what I’ve lost. It’s usually the simplest things that remind me the most. Chocolate frosted donuts with sprinkles from Dunkin’ Donuts. The comic book rack at Borders. The Carousel at Forest Park. Late night television on The Cartoon Network. The thirty-seven decks of cards that sit in his drawer. Mailboxes. Of course, there are all things Shrek. All of these things are things that he knew… and it saddens me when I see something that I know he would have liked but never got to see. The Webkinz card game. Dinner at Red Robins. The penguins at the zoo. The upcoming Clone Wars movie. The triple chocolate muffin at Dunkin’ Donuts. The new Hulk movie, because of course he was the biggest fan in the house of the old one too.
A number of societies and cultures allow one year of mourning the passing of a loved one. Culturally I belong to one of those groups. Today will supposedly mark the period of mourning, and life in theory is supposed to carry on as usual. This means celebrating the holidays I avoided this past year, doing the things I would normally do as if nothing was wrong, and not feeling the need to keep radical changes to a minimum. Emotionally though, I belong to the never forget group. While waking up most mornings has returned to a battle between the alarm clock and I, there are still mornings where it takes tremendous effort to put both feet on the floor both physically and emotionally. As the days continue to pass while I move forward through life I’ll always carry this loss with me, and I don’t know how anyone can expect otherwise. I don’t know if anyone realistically does.
The first year, supposedly according to the experts, is the hardest year. I’m not sure if that’s true or not. I think every year is a hard year without someone who you love unconditionally… and loved you unconditionally. It’s hard… but not impossible.
Because nothing is impossible… impossible just takes a little longer.
Virtuality In Stone
One of the questions that usually pops up in the blogosphere every 2 or 3 months is the validity of the “virtual friendships” that eventually evolve from our online activities. I myself used to wonder about it, and while I had concluded that online relationships were as important as offline there, really was no actual solid proof that could be found.
Today I give you that solid proof…
When I made this post on my blog, it was done in a state of exhaustion after over 24 hours of being emotionally drained and numbed through the wonders of modern chemistry. The support and love I received from the blogosphere was… overwhelming to say the least. Over 400 comments wound up on that little post. Over 400 comments of love and support… and I assure you it gave me strength at a time when I was my weakest. Those 400+ comments came in from all over, and word spread as it does in the blogosphere thanks in part to Adam Avitable with AmyD who had decided to do this. In the end, they raised $3500 dollars on my behalf.
Unlike a lot of parents put into my situation, the financial toll of the funeral was lessened dramatically by both the former Chief Operating Officer, the then current President of the company I work for, and perhaps surprisingly, their premiere clients who’s accounts I have served at over the years. So when I received the check, I decided to put it towards one of the things not yet paid for, the grave marker. A solid stone reminder that the power of friendship transcends the so called virtual world… by leaps and bounds.
I still remain at a loss of words that would adequately show my appreciation for that, and everything else, so I would just like to say thank you and hope that it can suffice.
As a parent, you want the best for your child, even when they have left this world for the next before you. Not all parents are as fortunate as I am to have such support during such a tragic event. It is for this reason that I ask you to keep in mind The Joseph Salmon Trust, a small charity that focuses on helping parents to pay for headstones and funeral services. The Dales Walk is an event that Dan has planned and will benefit the trust.
categories: Personal Memories Remembering DJ