I know not everyone has this feature on their Facebook account, but I do. It’s called ‘On this Day‘ or ‘Memories‘. It ferrets out posts from the same day in years gone by. It’s pretty amazing when we consider how long most of us have been on the Facebook. Posts going back ten years or so pop up in my feed under that feature and they have been fun and mostly enjoyable. Old pictures and events brought to mind that I haven’t thought about in a long time … every day.
But now it’s May. It is a month we expected to have a totally different set of memories than we do. So when ‘On This Day‘ pops up I begin to sift through the posts. I pass the day that darkened our lives forever and see posts just prior. Days I regard now as carefree and joy filled. Days of expectation and pride. We said goodbye to a lot of that when we said goodbye to John Robert. In May of 2008. On that day.
As I read those posts that pre-date THAT day I wish I could go back to my younger self and tell younger John what was about to happen. (i.e. James Rubart’s The Five Times I Met Myself). But that’s not the way things work, is it?
On May 21st we will once again pass through the day that John Robert died. The memories are a bit more vivid, the pain a little more acute. But as those pictures begin to surface I do detect a shift in my feelings about them. If this had happened seven or eight years ago, it would have crushed me. But it will be nine years this time. And some of those pictures are starting to make me smile.
Spending time with other bereaved parents at The Compassionate Friends meetings, I understood it would happen one day. The time would come when memories would bring some smiles along with the tears. The tears will never run dry, but the smiles can come alongside. Especially in those initial years, the jagged pain of fresh grief kept the smiles away. But now they seem more natural.
So I thank God for the gentle ways He brings healing gradually … honoring our humanity, acknowledging our pain at being separated, helping to carry us through the darkest of days. Our eyes have adjusted so that we can see more of the light of life, at least until we revisit him in our hearts.
Thanks for reading, JD.