The lyrics to the Rascal Flatts song were bouncing around in my head as I sat down to type out this post....
This past weekend, I spent some time in Canada visiting with Jeremy's family. I always look forward to spending my time with them, not only because I love them so much and they don't even know how incredible they are, but also because they keep me close to Jeremy. What I didn't expect was how emotional the trip would be for me.
I grieved a lot this trip. Steve came with me and we were able to talk about wedding stuff and they allowed me time for my heart to be happy and share good news, but I still ached and I know they did too. It's hard to move forward without feeling like I'm letting pieces of my past go. I want to take it all with me.
I took Steve to Jer's grandparents house. He hadn't been there yet, so we went over for dinner. And suddenly, the hole felt bigger and the knot in my throat grew tighter - the entire time we were there. We had a lovely visit, but I walked around the house looking at all the pictures of Jeremy, wondering why this wave of grief was following me around. Then, we sat down to dinner and ate Jer's favorite dinner EVER (grandma's lasagna) and talked about all of the things he loved to eat at their house and I heard the heartbreak in grandma's voice as she told me she couldn't keep chocolate chip cookies in the cookie jar anymore, and I suddenly knew. I felt closest to Jeremy there at his grandparents house - it was one of his favorite places to be. We spent a week there every Christmas, we traveled there many times throughout the year, I had listened to countless recalled memories from Jer about growing up there, and I knew that such a big piece of his life and his heart were there. I hadn't spent a whole lot of time there since he died, so I guess I had never taken it all in. Even through their joy for Steve and me, I felt their heartache for their oldest grandson. My heart was so heavy for them. And I felt myself lose Jeremy all over again. I lost my future of making more memories with him in that house.
What hurt the most....was being so close...
So close to Jeremy I could almost see him. Standing in the door frame, sitting on the floor wrestling with the kids, sitting at the table licking the blueberry pie plate clean. I can feel him there in his pictures, like they were just taken yesterday. I heard him laughing, felt him breathing there.
I realized that the places I feel Jeremy closest are also the places I grieve hardest. I felt similar when I took Steve to Jeremy's grave for the first time the following day. Knowing he's there is so overwhelming for me to face sometimes. Feeling close to Jeremy means so much to me, but it lingers for days and sits in my heart.
I know that so much of my day to day looks different than it did before Jeremy died. In a new house, driving a new car - they're not places that Jeremy touched or made a mark in so they don't have that affect on me. But when I go back to those places where I feel him most, something comes over me.
I was thankful for the sweet man by my side who held my hand while I cried out and grieved the other man that I love. His tender heart held mine as he thanked me for sharing pieces of Jeremy with him, and understood that no matter how much I love him or am thankful for his presence in my life, sometimes.....this grief thing just really hurts.