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FOURTH BIRTHDAY FEARS


The Chick’s song “Not Ready To Make Nice” is a song I enjoy blasting with the windows down. It is also a song that my college freshman year roommate and I made up what I would consider the greatest dance moves, which, 16 years later, I will still do anytime I hear this song.

There is a phrase from the song that I always catch myself singing when I reflect back on losing Ton: “They say time heals everything…But I’m still waiting..”

Grief is weird. Time is weird. They wrap together this crazy concept of when and how you must be okay.

Ton passed away five weeks after Thor turned four and just two weeks after Ashton was born. Ashton is nowadays away from turning four, and I would lie if I did not say that this age is emotional for me.

My boys growing up is hard for me in general, but the age of four takes me right back to where we were in life when Thor was four.

Ashton turning four also means that we are approaching the fourth year without Ton, a concept I have not fully wrapped my head around.

How has it been four years?

How has Ton missed out on this much of Ashton’s life?

How has the little boy who was once four now eight years old and halfway done with second grade?

As time goes on without Ton, I miss him more, hurting some days harder. The first year of losing a loved one is an autopilot year. In the first year, you are just hoping to find life again, and while the holidays and special days are hard, you are still surrounded by family and friends constantly checking in, reaching out, and feeling comfortable in one big hug.

But then the first year is over, and you celebrate making it.

Time passes, and you realize how much has changed, how much people have grown, and how many memorable moments you wished you could pick up the phone and have them there to celebrate.

I look at Ashton, and it makes it hard to think about how little Thor was as he traveled the world with me as my little copilot navigating doctors’ appointments, weekly visits, and hours in the car each week.

So, if time heals everything- when is my time? When does enough time pass that you wake up and feel okay? How long must you wait for your heart to stop aching for the old norm?

Four years ago, I constantly stressed about whether my dad would be alive to meet my second child. Four years ago, I struggled to count my pregnancy because I felt like I was counting down to losing Ton.

We knew if Ton made it passed Ashton’s birth, he would not make it much longer. The concept of the circle of life hits hard when you know you will be experiencing the whole circle at once.

Four years ago, I knew my life would change, but I did not expect how hard it would still be four years later.

Growing up, you know the time will come when you lose people you love; as people age, things will change, but growing up, you also believe that while things change after enough time, you wake up and are okay.

We are told that time heals. We are told that we will wake up one day and everything will be normal again.

I am here to tell you that it is okay if you, too, are waiting for this moment that society tells you that will happen.

I am also here to tell you that it is okay not to be okay.

It is okay to have hard days still.

It is okay to feel all the feelings.

Whatever you are feeling, whatever I am feeling is valid.

I like to remind myself that I am lucky enough to have had someone in my life that makes being without them so hard.




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