It has been just over a month since you came and left within a matter of minutes, and I still can’t shake the feeling of absolute shock at all we’ve been through together.
When I close my eyes, I can’t help but immediately travel back to that moment I sat and watched your tiny little casket get lowered into the ground. In an instant, all the emotions I experienced as they lowered you in come flooding back.
As they lowered you in, I felt like this was as far as I could ever be pushed. I felt as if there was no chance something this terrible would ever happen to me again no matter how long I live. On the bell-shaped curve of my life, I must be standing at the absolute top.
As they lowered you in, all the feelings of anger, frustration, hopeless, and helplessness poured over me once again. I couldn’t hold back the sobs of pain, the guilt about not being able to do anything to save you; the heartache of knowing I would never be able to hold you again.
As they lowered you in, I looked on as if none of this was really happening. Looking back, it must have been my mind trying to save me from the reality of what was going on. I couldn’t have survived being present in that moment, and instead looked on as if I was watching some sort of terrifying movie.
And yet, as they lowered you in, I knew that I would never forget even the tiniest detail about the moment. The smell of the grass, the frayed straps the worker wrapped around the casket, the sound of the wooden casket hitting the bottom of the cement crypt, the flower that fell from my hand down into the hole, all of it. I will carry it all with me forever.
As they lowered you in, I realized the time for mourning ended for our friends and family. Once the funeral is over, most find it appropriate for everyone to get on with their lives and move forward. For us, though, it’s as if it just happened yesterday. We are still in the same place, the same horrifying place we’ve been for the last month. Even though the flowers have all wilted, even though the meals have stopped, even though the family has all gone home, and even though they have lowered you in, we still ache for you with every minute that passes by.
We always will.
Copyright 2016 Tommy Tighe
About the Author
Tommy is a Catholic husband, father of four boys, and the author of The Catholic Hipster Handbook (available now!).