Today is Konnor’s birthday. He would have been ten today. It marks what those of us in grief call a “grief trigger.” Considering that Konnor has been gone from us for only one year and four months, I still find I am adjusting to his loss and at times need to simply let myself feel what I need to feel and continue to grieve.
We have all heard the saying, “There is no time limit on grief.” I will attest to this because we have marked our year anniversary and still the time and the date on the calendar have no meaning to us. I know Konnor is gone, I know how he died, I have accepted his death. Yet, they say when you are able to tell your story without crying then you know you have healed. I am clearly not there yet.
Konnor had his first birthday in Heaven four months after he passed away. My family marked this day by getting together and sharing stories of his short life, having a birthday cake and then a balloon launch. For us it was another very emotional day. It would have been his golden birthday as he would have been nine on the ninth. We got through it together.
This birthday things are different. Some family are working, some have other obligations. Truth be told, some just want to grieve alone. I don’t see anything wrong with that. We all grieve differently. Some keep their emotions to themselves, some are open in expressing how they feel. I am not very good at keeping things in. I woke up crying. I am crying as I write this. I want to talk to him. I want to hug him. I just do.
When others tell us we are wrong for how long we are in grief or how we are grieving, it can impede our grief process and can damage our personal psyche. Grief is suffering enough if you ask me, how much more damage can we as human beings handle? At this point we have lost someone we loved, can we respect each other with this mutual love we have in common and let each other grieve in peace?
It’s important for us to remember that others do not grieve like we do. While in the early stages of my grief I had feelings of extreme sadness associated with the loss of Konnor, I was very much alone in my grief. This due to the fact that I am single parent and my three grown daughters are out on their own and I would hide a lot of my pain from my son so he wouldn’t worry about me. Perhaps because of this I am accustomed to my personal grieving rituals. By this I mean having my own private grieving space in which I can be alone in my thoughts, cry, listen to music or look through my scrapbook I made of Konnor. Whatever I need to do in order to express the pain and grief that has taken over the space in my head and my heart at that moment in time or that day.
When these grief triggers take over rather than fight or try to ignore them we must learn to do what we have to do to express our own individual emotions to release the pressure on our hearts. Like a pressure-cooker left unattended sooner rather than later an eventual explosion is inevitable. The irritability, moodiness we start to exhibit is our body’s way of showing us that we need to take time for ourselves to grieve. This is so important to our mental and emotional health, no matter how much time has passed or who has told us where we need to be in our grieving process. Our grief is as individual as the imprint the soul has left on our hearts.
Happy Birthday Konnor Mason, Grandma loves you.