My son called me in mid September. He couldn’t figure out why he was beginning to feel so sad. “It’s because of the er’s” I said. “The what? He asked.” “You know, September, October and November. The er’s, I replied. The months that remind us that Konnor left us.”
Grief is similar to depression in the sense that it can be seasonal. Yet it can be more complicated than that. Seasonal depression slips in as the dark days become long, losing the mood boosting sun. Losing a loved one is endless. There is never a time you forget your loved one is gone, there are constant reminders that he/she is missing. But as the season of the anniversary date creeps in, so does the physical feelings of grief. The familiar ache in the pit of my stomach, the pain in my chest.
I remember being there. Being in the midst of grieving. The aloneness, the fear and the hurt. Those feelings of being enveloped in something cold and dark, like a cave. Claustrophobic. It was hell. Something about this form of grief feels familiar, yet I don’t fear it, it feels comforting. Strangely enough this seasonal grieving feels like home. A place I can feel him, embrace him. When I feel this sadness I feel Konnor as if he lives within my sorrow.
Not unlike those with depression I feel tired, little things will frustrate me or cause me stress or a song will make me cry. I have no desire to socialize or even do the things that would normally bring me joy. I am stuck.
I know it’s a fine line between becoming lost in these feelings of sadness, remaining there or finding my way out. I have realized how important it is to not let that darkness surround me. It is a constant battle as it is for all those who have suffered such a loss. I have learned what my triggers are and I have learned how to cope.
Fall was my favorite season. Although summer has gorgeous weather and I am a beach lover, there is so much to be said for sweater weather, fire pits, falling leaves and the smell of something baking in the oven. The change of season from summer to winter is special. Especially for those of us who live in the Midwest. I don’t want to hate the fall. I hate that it’s a reminder of the loss of my grandson. I want to change the way I think about that. I keep trying.
The death anniversary is difficult for anyone struggling with the loss of a loved one. We do it again and again and again. It’s an endless cycle of remembering one of the worst experiences of your life. Especially the loss of a child.
Fall is my time of grieving. It is time to reflect on my grandson and his life. This is the time of year I feel melancholy, I struggle. I’m struggling with the memories of the loss of my grandson. It starts in September, rather than the month of November which is the month he passed and it continues past Christmas. I miss him. Still.
I imagine my daughter struggles harder than I do to get through. I think of her and pray for her.
The fall season will always make me think of Konnor. I think of him when the wind picks up and a chill fills the air. I see him running in his camouflage jacket, the wind carrying his distinctive laugh. He is the beauty in the colors of the leaves. He is Fall. I think of the boy we lost and I weep.
Yes, the season again changes my mood along with the weather. Fall, like my sorrow belongs to Konnor. I wrap myself in a blanket and welcome him home.