I had heard about it in other families that I have come to know in my parent grief support groups but I didn’t know when or if it would ever happen in mine. Instead of saying his name so as not to have a crackle in our voice or tears stream down our face, he was the silence that hung in the air after a thought of him came to mind.
Too soon it will be two years since my son Sammy left this Earth at the tender age of sixteen having unknowingly taken a synthetic hallucinogen drug that killed him overnight. Here on Earth, we are still in recovery mode; protective mode; don’t let them see you cry mode; can’t stop thinking about him every moment even now mode and all the other modes that try to put into words what is not definable to you as you experience it, let alone enables you to express it to another living soul.
It happened though. I was at dinner with my son Nick, Sam’s year younger brother. After we had spent the day together at Nick’s AAU basketball games, wrapping the day up by filling our bellies with Nick’s favorite cuisine, Japanese hibachi, seemed appropriate. We were both laughing as we shared stories back and forth, naturally flowing storytelling between a mother and a son. I asked him a question. Then he asked me one. We laughed some more at each of our responses and how crazy we think the other one is as we clearly established long ago that we don’t beat to the same drum; as well as many moons ago expressing we decidedly like that about each other.
Another round of questions occurs and with his response I, without hesitation, go on to say something about Sam’s interpretation of the same. Then Nick, not skipping a beat, grins from ear to ear and in a raised voice laughs and says Sam’s thought on that as well. It may not happen again soon but it happened. We didn’t miss a beat together; we missed Sam. #muchlovetosam