The Drawer

I did it. I finally ventured into “that drawer”. The drawer of death. You might know that one. You might have one in your house. Actually, I hope you don’t.

It is the one that holds things….like cards and death certificates and photos and letters and rosary beads made out of funeral flowers and little gifts from people who don’t know what to say or do to help and visitation books from funerals….that one.

First thing placed in it? A mass card from my dear friend, who could finally rest peacefully after along fight with cancer. Then three months later, my Father suddenly passed away. His mass cards, etc. He had lived an amazing, loving life and now needed to rest. Three months later, my son passed away suddenly and violently and surprisingly. He was only 14 years old. Shock anddenial took over. Then four months later my Mom. No, not the Mama! Not her too…but yes. It was her turn to rest too. I was numb by this time.

That drawer. The one never opened. The one that holds fear and shock and raw anguish. The drawer that used to hold household items or something else inconsequential. And that somehow became the place to put all of that death memorabilia that I really did not need but could not get rid of because they hold the last memories of some of my core loves.

The drawer that after it got full and heavy, it could not be opened with ease, so I left it ajar an inch and just slide stuff into it. That worked better anyway…then I did not have to see it all. I could slide something into it, get it out of my sight but not see anything else.

What else did I find in it? The cards from Patrick’s classmates. The lovely memory book they made and wrote in. The extra photos that I guess were not put up on some board. Was there a board at the funeral? No clue. Were there people there? No clue? Did others mourn? No clue. Did others go numb and stop feeling for a year? No clue. It is a blank time of shock and despair void of many memories….blocked out for protection of my heart.

But, tonight the drawer holds a different meaning. It is proof. Proof that yes, there must have indeed been a funeral and that there were hundreds and hundreds of people at it. That they came and then they wrote cards and letters. They donated to Patrick’s Pups…the first charity organization set up in his honor. That they also missed him. They also mourned. They were also shocked and hurt.

It is proof that it isn’t a horrible nightmare. It is real. This unimaginable thing really did happen to my beloved son. That my friend was put to rest….that my Father was put to rest…that my Mother was put to rest….and that Patrick is with them.

Why did they all go in one year? Maybe to help each other pass over. Maybe my elderly friend and my parents needed help and Patrick went to assist them. Maybe there is no one single answer. It is just a tragedy that no one can explain.

That drawer…the one that I thought would be the death of me if I opened it. That drawer…the one that holds my nightmares….. I opened it. I sorted. I looked. I cried. I realized that I have lived through the worst. Nothing else can hurt as bad as that year. I am brave and strong. Braver and stronger than ever before.

And THAT, fills me with wonder and joy! I lived through it. I continue to live and grow and change and flourish. With the help of many people, I honor my son and help hundreds through Patrick Lives On.

Hundreds came to Patrick’s funeral to mourn. Hundreds now benefit from his legacy.

That drawer is not that scary. It is an extremely sad drawer, but, it is not scary. It is actually peaceful. And powerful and filled with beauty. It is strong and brave.

Good night. Grief is exhausting. Gonna close that drawer for the night and revisit it another time.

Will be interesting to see what pops out the next time.