I missed you today.
And it never happens when I expect it to, but at times most unexpected, which is tricky. Because instead of being ready for it I'm standing in a store and I see something you'd like. And I think, what a perfect gift! Before my brain has time to catch up, I hold the thing in my hand. I applaud myself again for how much you will love it.
And then I remember.
I prepare for anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, important days. I know they will be sad and I am ready. But I do not prepare myself for walking through a store. I cannot anticipate that I might hear that song you loved. I don't know how to plan for being caught off guard.
That is a hard thing about grief, to be standing in the sale room of a store in a mall holding measuring spoons shaped like fish in my hands and I feel like I can't breathe because I forgot, for a moment, that I cannot buy you presents.
On the other hand, I don't mind that every now and then you are still so present to me that I want to buy you one. That's how I get myself to let go of the fish and walk back out of the sale room and into the mall and so on and so forth; because it is in those moments, in songs and stores and other little pieces of you out there in the big wide world, that I remember how to keep breathing and living and being ok. Because no matter what any of us do or where we go or how well we prepare for any of it, you'll always be there, in those places, with each of us. At times most unexpected.