Our home is the place where I feel safe. Here, I am protected from the outside world. From its disregard and callousness towards my son's short life and its perceptions and judgments about how well I'm coping with his death. What's left of my family exists in this place, wrapped in a cocoon of love for Zachary, united in the beauty of his life, the trauma of his sudden illness and death, the undeniably changed landscape of our family. Zachary's belongings, framed vignettes of him and us together, mini memorials to him, are now interspersed throughout the spaces in our home. While it might as well be a mirage outside of these walls, here there is tangible evidence that we lived an entire other life, with Zachary, in the month of January 2014.
When I'm alone in our home, I allow the waves of grief to wash over me, my tears to flow freely. I am unafraid to shout to God and the universe about how angry and broken and cheated I feel, how unfathomable and cruel it is that Zachary was snatched away from us just as we were beginning to make memories with him. At home, I can remember Zachary out loud and speak of my grief, whenever and however I choose. I can find a truly knowing embrace from the two people on earth who understand how unique and special Zachary was, how bright a future he had, how soul crushing it was to watch him suffer and then die and how it is to live with his absence each and every day.
The three of us are going on a trip very soon. I know there is no escaping this grief - that Zachary's absence and our sorrow follows us wherever we go. But even with the understanding that the trip will be marked with bereavement, I despise that we are able to go at all. We should be tied down to home, bound by Zachary's schedule and needs, looking forward to the day when a trip for the four of us would be more feasible.
I wonder how we will handle being away from the safety and comfort of home during this trip. Beyond the usual suspects, I wonder what kind of grief triggers await us there. More so, I dread how despondent we will feel to resume everyday life without Zachary, once again, upon our return.