Today is always a day of grieving for me, as I mentioned quickly last year, but never really gave full justice. Some years it’s easier to get through this day and luckily, 2012 is one of those times. It might just be time easing the pain, but I think it’s because for the first time in my life at this particular moment, I am not only assured in myself, but in those people I have chosen to have around me for support.
Seven years ago (Jesus, really?), I lost my high school sweetheart and best friend. It was and is still the worst day of my life. I don’t know how a 17-year-old pulled through the trauma of seeing death up-close so early, but I’ll bet it has to do with my family and friends.
Almost three years ago, I lost my amazing uncle to cancer. Though today is not the one when he drifted away, saying he had to “Go home,” today is the day he would have added another notch on his belt of life. Birthdays of the fallen are just as hard as the anniversary of their deaths.
I have honored them over the years in the best way I know how: by writing about them. I wrote about the experience of losing J for a creative writing class my first year at App, and poetically, I wrote about losing my uncle for my final paper in literary journalism during my last year of college.
Today I will take it easy with my pups. I’ll do some housework. I’ll go to the gym as usual, then make some dinner. But I will also stop to reflect, to take time to remember. I will look back over the scraps of memories I have with these men. They will always live on with me.
And today, I will also remember the people who have always been there through this day and through thousands of others. From my best friend who always takes me to grab Mexican, to the hundreds who call or write, to my family who is also grieving, to the newest man in my life, waiting with a handpicked rose by the door when I need it most. I will remember them because they have made it possible for me to go on with this ever-mending void in my heart.