I used to move through life anticipating the future.
Now I find myself drifting through my days looking backwards.
Looking forward is disheartening. Ahead I see obstacles to overcome, hard times waiting. I will soon have to grieve the start of a new school year without Samuel. On back-to-school night I won’t have a reason to go into the 1st grade classrooms, but I should. I’ll grieve the fall season without him, farm field trips, costumes and candy. The annual school sock hop. Thanksgiving, and the first anniversary of his death. Then Christmas, which…I don’t even know how to face that. It was hard last year, but we were in shock. Then a long, cold winter. How will we make it? The future feels insurmountable.
So I look back. I count the days since Samuel was here with us. I can still look back to “this day last year” and remember what we were doing as a family of five. In a few months I won’t be able to do that anymore, as time is moving us towards the one-year mark. Each day takes us farther from him.
I have a strong sensation of floating on time. I don’t strive towards the future, and I’m learning that it doesn’t do any good to grasp onto the present or the past. Time is a slogging river that moves slowly across my life, and I am carried along. The things I am reluctant to face, they will come. And then they will go. When a day is particularly bad because I’m dealing with something stressful, I no longer look ahead, hoping for things to get better tomorrow. I just float on. Time will bear me past whatever crisis is in my path. I watch things dwindle into the distance behind me.
The only thing that doesn’t disappear into the past is Samuel’s death. I must grapple with the reality of his absence every day.
Life is moving, but I don’t direct it.
My days are aimless.