Back in August Mom, Aunt K, Gram, and Grandpa drove north to visit Grandpa’s siblings. I always enjoyed spending time with Mom’s cousins and their kids growing up, so I jumped at the chance to join them. We met at a bar and grill by the lake and spent over 2 hours talking, laughing, and trading stories – about 30 of us, covering 3 generations. Mom and her siblings were pretty close to their extended family growing up, so her cousins didn’t hesitate to bring me into the fold when I drove up. (Side note: Mom’s cousins are among the few people left in the world who still think I look like Mom) Even though I’m a generation younger, I got to sit at the grown-ups’ table, conversing with the adults.
Near the end of the meal, as Mom was engaged in a different conversation, one of her cousins pulled me aside and asked, in all earnestness, how Mom was doing since 3’s death. At this point, it had been nearly 20 months, but the cousin was just as concerned as ever. I answered honestly, saying that the second year has been easier than the first, but that Mom still has her bad days.
It was oddly comforting, hearing this kind of concern for Mom over a year and a half later. Of course, we all still live with 3’s death every single day. They’re certainly not all bad days, but the fact remains that my brother, Mom’s son, is dead, so it was nice to realize that people are still thinking about Mom, at least occasionally. I’m glad, because Mom definitely deserves the thoughts and prayers, but it also made me wonder if people are still asking about or thinking about me.
Two huge caveats to that thought: 1) Mom obviously deserves concern more than I do. I know she has more bad days, and I know the experience of losing a child is entirely different from that of losing a sibling. And 2) my friends have been off-the-charts incredible. I’m thrilled and exceedingly blessed with all they’ve done for me. It was just a thought I had. Personally, I know that I didn’t think about KP’s dad after he died, so it’s unrealistic to think that anyone who doesn’t have first-hand experience with death would know that it still matters, even almost 2 years later.