Summer in Michigan can warm the heart and heat the body. There are soft silky nights spent viewing dots of light in the heavens. Beaches, barbecues, baseball, family reunions, fireworks, carnivals and cool drinks make the summer a special time of the year for a Midwesterner eager to shed winter’s coat. School’s out while vacations blend together for happy times. Even blue skies push the gray away in the peninsula state begging us to view, if not experience, the outdoors.

Someone is not there in their normal place and the season of the year will never change that fact. Determination to make “things” better is a laudable, though often quite challenging goal. Having a good time between spring and fall may be a difficult task when a good day may be a notable achievement. The simple act of attempting to have fun may be a simple, innocent act of honoring our child’s memory. Every month seems to bring specific special thoughts and those fun times may bring along some unwanted baggage of sad moments that will never go away, but they will become more manageable, more easily carried.

It seems that if we keep busy sometimes “things” get better even if it’s only for a little while. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop is another one of those phrases that seem to finally have some meaning for the bereaved. Find something, anything, to occupy the mind and the heart will most likely follow, if only briefly. If there is no time to think then there is no time for heartache, and this fragile formula may work on occasion to soothe the soul, providing rare relief from the staggering, stunning, seemingly endless pain.

Other times it is just too overwhelming, too exhausting to keep one step ahead of the darkness that reality has inflicted. We are transported back to when “things” were different, normal, better, so briefly we let go of hope and that is ok, it happens. The fight for survival is not easy but it is possible. The struggle may be measured by where we have been, how far we have come, as well as where we are. Congratulate yourself for making it this far. We may share many similarities, but no one knows your hard road better than you.

I think that our son Brian is having the best summer of all. That is what I choose to think, choose to know, choose to feel. So when I close my eyes tonight I will remember fireworks and sparklers of the past, the amusement parks yet to be visited. The happy faces of yesterday’s memories will visit while dreaming of the hugs of tomorrow in that most beautiful perfect summer, that someday forever summer, together.


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Comments (2)

  • Thank you Pat and Janet for posting these wise words. My husband, Bob and I lost our son, Chris, to melanoma on April 16, 2018. Watching his decline was devastating. I agree about the busy part. I have exhausted myself trying to stay occupied. We have been in several counseling groups, including individual counseling. We recently found the local Wylie, Texas chapter of TCF and we are very grateful. Visiting with those who truly understand is comforting, even if it doesn’t make the pain go away. Every day, every activity is a reminder.
    Thank you for being there.

  • Thanks,

    We lost our son in 2012 as the age of 25. It happened out of the blue in one tragic moment.
    TCF has helped us coped through the years.

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