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One Year Closer

When the lights stop twinkling and the last firework has burned out, grief can and will intensify when the new year starts knocking. Another year when your loved one is no longer around. Another year.

Whenever I think of “new year” now , my mind would start to list what I need to do, “ when do I start going through Jordan’s things?”. It has been 3 years this January 2024 and I still have yet to clean up and sort out his stuff. When most of you are thinking about resolutions, writing personal goals and maybe planning trips. I think about how long should I keep his sweatpants? Is this the year when I should just get rid of it or even wash it?

February too isn’t the greatest month.

The love month. They say “ Grief is Love because love is forever”. I never celebrated Valentine’s Day. Those days were irrelevant. Seems too shallow for me to even recognize when someone you love isn’t here. The month where his body has turned to ashes while parts of him saved 9 people. Yes, somewhere out there, people got to live.

Then there's the Super Bowl.

Jordan played football in high school. We often invite his friends to watch it in our basement. Make some food and just hang out. Another thing I hate about February. So you can say my new year doesn’t really start until March. Honestly, going on the third year for me feels different. Somehow, parts of me seem to get “used” to this. That sounded wrong. Maybe I meant “accepting” the fact that he is no longer coming back. That “idea” I created in my head that Jordan was/is on a long trip in Bhutan being trained to be the best Muay Thai fighter is ludicrous. Yet, that’s where my mind goes when I wonder where he is. Away from the chaos of this world. That is where he is able to control his thoughts and be at peace with himself. I thought of following him there and searching for him in the Kingdom of Happiness. There is no map, no manual on how to carry our grief into the new year. I just do.

Perhaps my grief muscles are a bit stronger now but the aches and pains after carrying grief lingers more and more. I have thought of new ways to cope with my grief now. My usual menu for coping are journaling, walking, painting, tv binging, listening to books, sometimes reading. Those seem to have reached their threshold and some aren’t working anymore nor contributing to any

improvements. Not that I am looking to improve. There are days that I can sink into the deepest black hole and some days I wake up and I will just be brave. I fight my silent battles daily. I wiped my own tears (ask my pillows). The calls stopped long ago. Very few have stayed and been comfortable with my grief. Most probably cringed, and sick of my grief memes I share daily. Being a suicide loss survivor can add to the isolation from the community. I have accepted this.

It is true what they say that the loss of a child will change you and change your world. This is something I have gotten “used” to also. I have a long term membership to a club that no one wants to be in. But I also found a community of parents, mothers who understand and get me. They are my saving grace.

I say for 2024, I am not sure. Jordan would be 30 in November. While his friends are turning 30 this year, something he will never be. So maybe, I will hold on to those sweatpants for another year after all. Maybe next year.

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