5 Years Ago Today…

This morning Facebook reminded me of an event with my parents in the Washington. D.C. area five years ago. The picture social media saved and presented jogged the memory of the loss that has happened with their deaths. One aspect to grieving is trying to process memories amidst the loss.

“Grief is not a disorder, a disease or sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.”

Earl Grollman

Mom and Dad

Five years ago today my family was in the Washington, D.C. area. They stayed in a hotel in Pentagon City. I went there and met them at their suite. We ordered Chinese food and we ate in. It was casual and relaxed and we just talked about life. I loved Mom and Dad deeply, and was grateful for the time I spent with them that night. Then I took a picture of them eating and uploaded it to Facebook. At the time I didn’t know that this would be their last trip to Washington, D.C. Nor did I know that the following year my Mom would start to experience health issues that would culminate with a medical crisis. There was no way I could have possibly known. None of this was on my mind until I woke up and started another day. I checked my social media and there I saw it. Facebook was reminding me of the event from five years ago. 

At my bed I cried and struggled with the thoughts. For me as I mourn their deaths its hard to look at pictures of either parent. Its a reminder of all that I lost and how my world was broken by their deaths. Now three years out from my Mom’s death and funeral and I have not had the courage to open up the package that the funeral home sent as part of Mom’s memorial. Right now when I look at pictures of my parents it reminds me of what I lost. The Christmases that will never happen. The family dinners that will never be the same. Hearing my parents talk about their personal interests which I will never hear again. I will never hear my Dad talk about the University of Chicago again. I will never hear my Mom talk about DePaul and Chicago. All of that has been torn away by their death. This is one of the many topics I discussed with a grief counselor as I try and find a way forward. But seeing that picture this morning reminded me of all that I lost, and of losing two people who I deeply love.