Does it get easier?

I was recently talking to an acquaintance that knows Nathan's story. He was talking about his children and, as I always do when discussing my children, he mentioned a son that he had lost 20 years or so ago to a traffic accident. He said, "I know you know what that is like. It doesn't get any easier. You just learn to live with it and keep on going."

The next day we were talking to close friends and something about how hard this time of year is for us came up in conversation and someone expressed that they hoped that it would get easier with time.

The two different perspectives struck me having heard them on back to back days.

I've never heard anyone really express this well in words. I know that I can't. It hurts as much today as it did 2 years ago, and yet here we are doing our best to keep living on. And if it never gets easier, how does anyone manage? And yet I was sitting outside in the beautiful Colorado sun listening to a father tell me quite casually that after 20+ years that it never got easier and there he was still carrying on.

I fear a day when this might get easier. If it gets easier, what would that say about my love for Nathan and the strength of my memories of his time here with us? I don't hope that it gets easier. I hope that I can find the strength to enjoy the many blessings (included in those blessings are my memories of Nathan) and experiences of my life while still feeling the pains of the profound losses.


Birthday party

Susan blogged about it before the event. I'll post a quick little something here now that it is over. Nathan's seventh birthday was on June 16, 2007. He died just over a month later. Julia has talked for a long time about wanting to have her seventh birday party at Chuck E Cheese's, just like Nathan's was. We had our reservations about this, but we knew that for Julia it was a way to stay connected to her brother who she misses so much. We agreed to let her have the party there. Like so many of these things, the anticipation is worse than the reality. I was excited for Julia before the party because she was so excited, but I cried a bit in the shower getting myself ready to head off to the party. She had a great time and for the most part I did too. Birthday parties for seven  year olds are tiring, but I came away from this one exhausted. I think the day carried with it a bit of an extra emotional toll, but Julia had a great time and we all held up.

I'm sad and worried for Julia. One of her coping mechanisms is to very deliberately and purposefully walk in her brother's footsteps. It won't be long before there aren't any more to follow (at least not the kind that she has been following).