Today, Megan would have been 37 years old. This is the fourth birthday since her death, and I can confidently say that they have gotten a bit easier. I’m not a ball of snot and tears, or missing her any more than I already do.
She’s s imply “in focus” today. There is no other way to describe it but “in focus”. On any given day, something occurs that makes me think of her. Shelby says something that sounds like her. It may be a five minute, fleeting memory, but regardless, she is in my thoughts. Four years of processing those moments have blunted the sharp edge of grief. Her birthday is no different, other than the fact that those moments occur throughout the day in a reliable, predictable sense.
The elevated awareness that she’s dead does, in fact, make today a bit more stressful overall. Her birthday doesn’t make any one individual thought of her “worse” per se, but the accumulation of them tends to just wear me out by nightfall. That in mind, I’ve decided I don’t care about being worn out. We’re physically in my favorite place on earth right now, and I’m welcoming the overwhelming flood of stimuli that will have me in bed by 9:00 PM.Read more
In about 36 hours, Shelby, Sarah and I are hitting the road. We’re not going to Texas, or the beach, or New York, or to visit my parents. We’re not planning this trip amongst anyone other than ourselves. I neither desired or solicited anyone else’s input with regards to our plans, other than Sarah and Shelby. We’re headed to the mountains in North Carolina, because of course we’re headed to the mountains.
In years past, our “family vacations” were, in general, a week-long trip to Myrtle Beach with Megan’s parents and siblings. Sure, Megan and I’s honeymoon was in Gatlinburg, and just the two of us. We also spent a week in Yosemite National Park and San Francisco together. Neither of those trip included Shelby though.
In 12 years as a couple, 7 of which included Shelby, we took only one trip where we planned and executed everything for ourselves...a trip to Maine. Shelby still talks about that trip, 5 years later. She remembers some things from our 4 or 5 trips to the beach, certainly, but it’s Maine that she wants to go back to.