The other night, driving home from Thanksgiving dinner at the in-laws, I had kind of a weird, morbid thought. It was drizzly and miserable out, and for some reason I thought it would be just the kind of night for a horrific car crash. It was a scary thought and it made me rather uneasy, to say the least.
Then I started thinking about what would happen if we died in a crash. (I told you it was morbid. But you know what? I've lived through a boat load of morbid and it's hard not to have it surface every now and then in odd little ways.) I was comforted by the notion of going together - of not having to lose My Beloved and never feeling the suffocating pain of loss again. Ever. And, of course, I was incredibly comforted by the thought of seeing Thomas again.
Lost in my little reunion reverie, it only slowly began to dawn on me that if we really did die there would be a lot of people left behind who would be devastated. Two sets of parents would lose a child, four people would lose siblings, three people would lose an aunt and an uncle, and a lot of people would lose a friend.
But mostly I thought of my Mom. I know how devastating losing my own child was (is) and so I have a pretty good idea of what she'd go through losing me. And My Beloved too, who she thinks of as the son she never had. I pictured her being told the news, and just thinking about that moment and imagining her pain was incredibly painful to me.
I started thinking about how terrible I would feel knowing that someone I loved was hurting so much because I was gone, and how I'd wish I could reassure her - to let her know that I was okay. I would desperately want her to know that I was happy and safe and that she didn't need to cry for me.
And that was the moment I somehow managed to put myself in Thomas' tiny little shoes. I got an overwhelming sense that he wanted me to know that life goes on - that my life MUST go on - and that he doesn't want me to be sad.
That's like asking me not to eat chocolate - it just ain't gonna happen - but still, seeing things from his perspective has been incredibly eye-opening. I will always be sad that he isn't here, that I won't have a chance to see him grow into the beautiful man I know he would have been, but I know he doesn't want my life to end because his did. I know he doesn't want me to stop living, only going through the motions and merely surviving.
So I'll try hard to really live - and to live with hope, even though I sometimes struggle so desperately to find it and hold onto it.
But I'll try little one, I will.