I spent this morning remembering the boy and feeling sad, but in a good way. I wandered through some happy memories and thought about the reasons I loved him.
I used to say that he wasn’t perfect but he was perfect for me. He could be snappy or impatient at times, especially when he wasn’t feeling well. He was a procrastinator. He was a pack rat and without constant vigilance from me every horizontal surface in our home would be covered in materials related to his hobbies. His flaws were all superficial – blemishes that made him human. At his core he was one of the best people I have ever known. He loved people for their warm hearts, not for what they could do for him. He had so many amazing talents but was in no way arrogant. He admired people who applied themselves and lived up to their own potential without ever judging or belittling their abilities. He was genuinely delighted by the successes of others, even when they surpassed him. The closest thing I ever saw to jealousy was disappointment that the limitations imposed on him by his illness prevented him from achieving more himself.
The thing that baffled me most about the boy was that he honestly seemed surprised that I loved him – as if I was the one who was special and he was the wildly fortunate beneficiary of my irrational affections.
I thought these thoughts and shed some more tears and went on to have one of the best days I’ve had in a while. Maybe the trick to progressing through grief is embracing the pain and loss. Or maybe today was just a random uptick in the emotional roller coaster and there’s nothing I can do to make it easier…