A New Year
In the days after Oliver's funeral we took a few days away at a favorite lodge. We rented a cabin, took the dogs and enjoyed the woods. I love being among the trees. Mary Oliver's poem was read at Waverly's funeral and taking to nature always feels right when grieving. Megan Devine, who wrote the book It's OK That You're Not OK talks about being outside provides relief. "The trees will not ask, 'how are you really?' and the wind does not care if you cry."
My energy level was low that a few walks with the dogs were all I could manage, But bundling up and sipping coffee on the porch or listening to the howling winds from the comfort of a big fluffy bed did just the trick.
We navigated the Christmas holiday with help from friends who included us in festivities and allowed it to be no pressure situations. We did puzzles, played games, listened to podcasts, read, ate, cooked. I stayed in bed late into the morning (or early afternoon).
Nighttime continues to be difficult for me. I can pretend Oliver is tucked in his bed until I pass by his room to see his bed made and empty. And then sorrow knocks me down and I weep.
Oliver's birthday was Sunday December 30th. He would have turned twelve years old. He should have turned twelve years old. Unlike days prior when we were in a fog not sure what we wanted to accomplish that day we had a plan. It began with pancakes at a favorite old spot. Oliver loved pancakes, so we indulged in ones filled with chocolate chips and butterscotch. We then went to see Waverly's tree, which is now Waverly & Oliver's tree at their elementary school. We put down fresh mulch, cleaned the branches and placed some painted stones which bear their names. It was then off to buy a birthday cake, which had to have "Happy Birthday, Oliver" in red icing. The day took an unexpected detour when we found ourselves at a tattoo shop waiting almost 3 hours to have the word lament permanently inked on my forearm. I have been wanting it for over a year and it felt like the perfect day to memorialize my grief and my prayers from pain.
A new year is upon us and like most people who lost a loved one in 2018, turning the calendar to a new year is painful. It makes your loss feel much longer ago and the person more unreachable. It hasn't even been one month, but the year has moved on and time continues to separate me from having Oliver beside me.