Changing the Calendar

Some days have a particular sadness.

Today I changed the calendar from February to March.  It is the 6th, after all.  It’s such a simple thing to do, flip the paper up, hook it over the nail.  But it is hard to turn.  The calendar pages feel like they are chained down.  February, gone without Samuel.  He didn’t get to dig through a Valentine goodie bag with his classmates, and he missed Michael’s birthday.  March, now moving on without Samuel.  He won’t get to explore the arrival of spring outside, he won’t shriek and run to me when he sees the first bee of the season.   And I am so sad.

There are reminders of Samuel everywhere.  I hope that someday these bring me a happy remembering, but now they declare his loss, over and over.  His backpack is still by the back door.  I haven’t even looked inside.  It’s in the way, but I can’t bring myself to move it.  Somehow that would be an acceptance that he won’t use it again.  He loved his backpack.  I don’t just grieve the loss of Samuel’s life, but I grieve every little piece of loss that goes with it.  I grieve every meal he doesn’t eat with us, every morning that we don’t rush around the house trying to find his shoes, every evening that I don’t read him a story and tuck him into bed.

His toys and clothes sit unmoving, untouched.  I don’t hear his little feet thumping down the hallway.  And the table isn’t covered with his papers and drawings.  I normally think of the presence of something being overwhelming.  But this is absence, and it’s overwhelming too.  How does the absence of something feel so heavy, like a landslide has buried our home and our lives?  A landslide of emptiness that feels as crushing as solid rocks.

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