This was the Summer we were going to introduce our son to the great outdoors. Some people dream about teaching their child to speak their first words or ride a bike, but we were excited to simply strap him on our back and show him the beauty of this earth. As we stood in line at the gift shop, a women got in line behind us to purchase a Junior Park ranger vest. Suddenly, tears started to flow and I made my way outside. The items which once filled my heart with excitement and anticipation are now the very reminders of shattered dreams.
The strange thing about grief is you never know when it is going to hit. You may be in a store or at a park, you may be by yourself or at the dentist. The challenge of losing a child is it something you are constantly forced to deal with. This is not the type of heartache you can neatly tuck away, hide from others and forget it ever happened. Grieving the loss of a life is a process and full of highs and lows. Once Cameron emerged with our postcards, he gave me one of his warm embraces, I wiped away my tears, and we boarded the shuttle for our day of hiking. Once on the shuttle, I reflected upon his enduring strength through all my tears, and was grateful for the ability to feel all my emotions so fully and deeply. Love and loss, they will always exist in tandem going forth.
“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” ― Leo Tolstoy