In the weeks and months that followed David’s death, I was very afraid. If I couldn’t keep David safe at our home, how could I keep the other children safe at school, ball practice and Scouts? Was I always going to feel broken? As time passed, would David be forgotten as our fourth child, a brother, a cousin, a friend?
I got my answers, some right away, and the fear started to subside. Our children went back to school and practice and Scouts where they were cared for and loved and safe. The next year Scott was born and that sweet baby showed us that we could find joy again. Our family and friends supported us as we learned to live without David. They “showed up”: with dinner, with invitations for our children to their family outings, with understanding as David’s cousins and friends celebrated milestones he was missing, with listening hearts and hugs when we didn’t even know we needed them. They have continued to remember him all these years, generously sharing their memories with us. Time has brought new people into our lives, most of whom have never met David, but who listen and love on us as if they had.
And then something happened that I never even thought about when David died. We became grandparents and our children made sure their children knew “Uncle David”. His picture hangs in all of their homes, Mason shares his name, they play with his toys, know that today is his birthday, and they remind me, every day, that though the season of grief never ends, it mercifully changes.
** This guest blog was written by Mary Showalter in honor of her beautiful son who died 20 years ago when he was 2 years and 8 months old. **