Since Christopher’s death, there have been several other young people who have died, including my cousin’s 30 year old son. I have also attended the funeral of a former co-worker’s 18 year old son. There has been other young people to die in Tallahassee, including a young man whose father died two weeks later. So much pain, so much grief.
So, I guess my experience is not so unique. Why doesn’t that help? I am trying to look at all these other losses to normalize the loss that I have experienced. I can’t do it. I know that they loved their children, but they didn’t lose Christopher. (Yes, I realize that I haven’t lost their loved one either, but that is not my issue. My issue is that I lost Christopher. Call me self-centered.)
What did I lose when Christopher died? Not just what you might think. Sure, I lost a fine young man. A tall, handsome man who called me “mom”. But I lost more than that. I feel like I lost my closest companion. As a friend said, I lost the wind in my sails. Every now and again, I get a breeze as I begin to look ahead and try to begin a “new” life. The problem is that it is lonely.
Sailing is not fun alone. Traveling is not fun alone. The plans that I am making would be so much more enjoyable if I could just tell Christopher about them. I know that he would not always be “traveling” with me, but he still would share in the details. He wouldn’t admit it, but he’d be proud when I graduate next Summer.
I lost my sense of family; my sense of my belonging for the future. I know that I have a place, I have a purpose, it is just suddenly not the one that I’ve been imagining for the last 14 years.