When the news of my son’s death hit my soul, it felt like I was plowing full sprint into an unmovable brick wall. It threw me back, and I landed hard on my back. As the wind left my lungs, a shockwave overtook my whole being. I no longer knew what day, month, or yr it was. My mouth became dry as the Sahara desert. I didn’t know what to do or how to proceed. As if swimming underwater, I reached for the phone, calling friends and family, hoping it wasn’t true, hoping to wake up and stop the nightmare.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case, and I planned the funeral. I felt disbelief as I looked at my son’s lifeless body pristine in the coffin. That moment felt unreal to me. As friends and family gathered, I felt the unbelieving amount of pain as shock waves flooded my body. As the months slipped on and I counted off the days, I noticed the grief moving and shifting.

Eight months later, I miss him more acutely, and the grief has turned into more crying and a weird floating feeling. Some days I have memory lapses. Some of the strangest things can trigger me and take me back to that first walk down the center aisle of the funeral home, wishing it wasn’t real. I’ve talked to others in different stages of grief, and I know this will never go away. It will only change with time.

I can only speak for myself when I say I have come to know life is never the same when you lose someone so dear and close to your heart. I allow the grief to work through my body, waiting for the sunshine once again. I have bright sunny days and allow the rain drenching days to cleanse my soul. Grief is a part of our human experience on this planet we call home. Hug your loved ones often and tell them how much you love them. When they mess up, forgive them quickly and know you will someday say goodbye forever.

This subject of grief is a hard one, but it’s a necessary one. Each of us will face that enemy we call death and grapple with the questions and feelings it brings to us. Live each day holding life as you would a delicate bouquet of roses.