So I haven't posted about grief lately and to be honest, I just don't want to. I am OVER it. Tired of the grief, of the sadness of death and the fact that it never leaves me. I am sure you remember over the summer I blogged that my friend Jennifer was battling melanoma. I don't think I mentioned that she passed in October. It was just shy of a year to the day I took pictures of her...per her request before starting treatment again. I kinda spiraled into a depression again after that to be honest. A death for me brings it all up. And I mean ALL of it. We had a party for her in December (she left money for us to party after she was gone) and we did all the things she loved. We ate, drank, gossiped and drank some more. We wrote messages on balloons and released them, we had toasts and told stories. She would have found it cheesy....we needed something "memorial like" to do.
These things we do, they are for us anyway. We need to have something to signify that we are hurting, that our loved one mattered and that we need to honor them in some way.
I have found in my experience, losing friends, both Hope and Jennifer have impacted me differently than the loss of my dad and grandparents these past few years. Knowing someone my age is gone, my classmate, my contemporary, my confidant is gone...it changed me. It makes me feel like the rest of these days, since they passed, are like a bonus round that they never got.
So yesterday marked the 3rd year since Hope passed. Three years she never got, to see her boys grow, to help me go through divorce, parenthood, job changes and to help me plan my new-found future. A future that because she is gone, feels so EXTRA now. Like the wheel of fortune stopped spinning too early for her and now I better make my bonus round count. Sometimes its paralyzing, so much so that I just don't know what to do next.
Since January 7th this year fell on a Saturday, Jake and I decided we would take the boys to Animal Kingdom for the day. It was a nice way to remember Hope, an animal lover, avid conservationist, family girl.
But for me, it was time I felt like I got to spend with her through the boys.
For those of you that follow Jake's annoying banter, for the record, Cooper bought Jake a beer yesterday, so I don't want to hear anymore that "Ann-Marie has never bought me a drink in my life"...my boy Cooper is taking care of that now..Thankyouverymuch.
(Cooper carried his wallet with money the entire day...paying for everything along the way)
The kids truly had a great day, and we ended it at Hope's favorite restaurant, Macaroni Grill where I heard one of her favorite songs playing in the restaurant. I know it was her, I know she said to me, "I see you, I thank you, I love you." At least that's what I felt when "It's a Wonderful World" played and I stopped dead in my tracks FEELING her tug on me to tell me..."hey...my song is playing."
Well...in my crazy mind I hear her saying that to me. I spent the whole day watching her boys laugh, talk about about the animals and "conservation" (one of Nathan's favorite subjects), and scream next to me on the roller coasters.
I try not to focus on "days" anymore, anniversary's of events of the past few years etc. It feels like I am cheating myself out of days in my bonus round. I don't want to "re-live" any of it, so I really am glad I have been able to make new fun memories to replace bad ones.
Such I guess is the circle of life.
Cue Elton John and tell Simba I said "Hakuna Matata"