I had never known loss the way I do now until April 2012.
In three weeks time (April 7, 14, 21) my best Lima friend’s baby died after 24 hours of life, I broke up with my boyfriend who I thought I was going to marry, and my dear Wheaton friend’s dad died after a long battle with cancer.
Never before had I experienced loss that was so concrete. I went from loving someone and being loved in return to forcing myself to fall out of love. My friends went from prepping for the changes Baby would bring to trying to fall back into a normal rhythm. So on Thanksgiving, I was struck with this refrain: something that once was, is now no longer. A year ago, I found out that Kaite was pregnant when she surprised me with what seemed to be a basketball in her dress at Thanksgiving. We spent our second Thanksgiving making plans for the third: dreaming of the boy who would be David looking at himself in the mirror, learning to sit up, and altering bedtimes and routines. I sat next to Ronald, and our plans were equally concrete. We would be engaged, enjoying living close to each other, and perfectly and madly in love.
Something that once was, is now no longer.
Neither Ronald nor David was with us this year for Thanksgiving, and their absence was palpable. We knew that 2012 would bring great changes, but the changes are not what either of us had anticipated. I am grieving the loss of what I thought my life would be, and slowly learning to push into the hope that I will not remain in the pain of the loss.
I don’t know what to do with loss, and I don’t know how to join my friends in mourning their loss. But I do know that it hurts much more than I could have ever imagined.