The joy of memories without the pain of loss.
It's been about 8 weeks since Parker passed on. The waves of grief are slightly less intense and less frequent, but the heartache is ever present.
On a run the other day my mind got to wandering about an imaginary pill that could take away the pain and hurt of losing Parker. Wouldn't it be nice, I thought, to be able to enjoy the memories without feeling the pain and heartache every day.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how impossible that would be, even in a daydream. The joy of remembering his presence instantly creates a longing to experience it again. And since I can't, it hurts.
That's when I realized that this pill would have to erase my memory of him altogether if it was going to get rid of the pain. After all, if I had never known him and loved him, I would not feel so much sadness every day. I imagined someone extending their hand to offer me that magic pill and in an instant, the daydream became a nightmare.
The thought of forgetting Parker was honestly the scariest thing I could think of, other than losing someone else I love. My reaction in the daydream was visceral...I slapped the pill out of their hand and ran the other way as fast as I could. I don't care how much pain and heartache it causes, a future without memories of Parker sounds infinitely worse than living with the pain of missing him.
A strange thing happened in that moment; I was suddenly thankful for the pain and hurt I was feeling because it meant that I still remembered him and still loved him and still missed him so much. And in that moment, right there on that run, I actually hoped that it would hurt, at least a little, every day for the rest of my life.
Yes, I want to heal and hope and find joy again. Yes, I want to enjoy life with Erica and Kylie (and all of you) for as long as God gives us on this earth. But maybe I also want to ache and hurt every day, because it reminds me of just how special Parker was and how lucky I was to be his dad for 17 years.
It was a blessing to know and love him when he was here with us, and though it hurts so much, maybe it's somehow a blessing to miss him, too.