My grief has changed over the years.
At first, I wanted to face my grief head on. I wanted to just deal with it as it came and allow myself to sit with it.
The grief was intense back then.
After a while, the intensity and frequency of the grief subsided, but it still came, and when it came it knocked the wind out of me.
But through it all, I wanted people. I wanted to be surrounded by people who would grieve with me. I wanted to be surrounded by people who loved and remembered Joshua and who validated my pain and grief.
But as we all know, grief morphs over time.
Next week is Joshua's birthday. It's also the first day of school for my big kids. Caleb will be in 2nd grade, Hannah will be in Kindergarten. Joshua would have been 3.
It's another year of loss for me, but this year, I don't want to be surrounded. I want to be alone with it.
Being alone is something new for me.
I've been walking in the evening (we adopted a dog from the shelter who has become my walking buddy.) In the evenings, I find myself on the walking path that surrounds our neighborhood. When I reach the stretch of path that is surrounded by land that has yet to be developed, I slow my pace and revel in the peace that surrounds me.
The croaking of the frogs, the trickle of water, and the sound of the wind allow me to think clearly and uninterrupted. It gives me some rare time alone with my thoughts.
I don't ever want company (other than Willow, the dog.) I want to be alone with my thoughts and my grief. I give myself time to let the tears fall, and I allow myself to remember Joshua- both alive and dead. Those memories flood my mind yet feel so foreign. Sometimes his life seems like it happened in a different life, a bad dream, or a really sad movie. I have a hard time believing it happened to us.
This new way of grieving is very strange to me. I don't even want to confide in my husband or best friend. I feel like there are no new words or new thoughts at this point. What has been felt has already been expressed- none of this is new. And now it's time for me to just be with it.
Maybe I'm entering into another selfish time of grief. A time when I just want to grieve how I want to grieve without consideration for anyone else. Maybe I am tired of revisiting it and rehashing it with others. Maybe I feel like 3 years should be enough time to "get over" it. Whatever it is, I'm ok with it. It's just different.