Grief Where You Least Expect It

Grief is a funny thing. It shows up in moments that you least expect. Rears it’s ugly head as a way to remind you that life isn’t what it used to be. Nowhere is safe. It’s always there, just under the surface. Waiting.

On this day it happened during the mundane. I stopped to get the mail as we always did on our way home from school. Tossed it on the counter in the kitchen with my keys. Got the girls settled and then began sifting through the pile. About 90% of the mail we get is addressed to people that lived in this house long before we did. Most of it goes right to the trash.

As I sorted and my pile of trash grew, my hand brushed the next envelope and paused. There it was. Addressed to Cameron Graham.

My heart skipped a beat. I ran my fingers over his name. Picked up the envelope and held it to my heart. I looked at it one more time before adding it to the trash pile.

This is one of those moments that rips my heart out and makes me smile all at the same time. Believe me it’s a real emotion that should have a name. I now live for these moments, as painful as they are.

It was a newsletter from his physical therapist. His therapy had ended the year before. It was after his achilles surgery. They had no idea what happened. We never called to give them the news and ask that he be removed from their mailing list. This was actually the 2nd newsletter we have received since his death.

A part of me was so happy to see his name on a piece of mail. It validates that he lived. It’s something I need every once and a while.

New normal is hard. I am constantly reminding myself that he was here. He was a part of this. My body moves forward and does what it’s supposed to do. My numbness allows me to continue. After a while the body seems to forget what that life felt like. The heart never does. It’s such a strange existence.

So today I was thankful for that piece of mail. Seeing his name. Being reminded by an external force that he was here. My heart knows he still is.


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4 Comments on “Grief Where You Least Expect It”

  1. I know how you feel. My only son has been gone for 5 years. We have built a new house this year. One day I went to get the mail and there was a letter addressed to him. My heart stopped how anyone would know our new address and put it together . Only God would have a hand in it. It blessed me to see it but it still hurt so much.

  2. I lost my 40 yr old son to an overdose in sept. I can’t feel anything but guilt. I should have guessed what was happening. Had I rushed to his apt I might have been able to save him. But I Don’t know if he died suddenly or could have been saved. It was fentanyl. Still waiting for final tox report. I feel like my heart has died with him. I can’t bear this guilt. I tried to help him for 20 years. Tried Everything under the sun and many times over and never stopped trying. And HE tried over and over. I loved him so much. I spoke to him 2 hours before. I worried all the time. This time I was not worried. I can’t understand why. It was a “perfect storm” of circumstance that led me to make a wrong decision and one moment of indecision – i found him the next morning. I can’t bear it. It’s been 12 weeks. I am numb as a heavy stone. It is a rare moment when I suddenly wail and cry. And then I’m stone again. It’s indescribable.

    1. Hi I lost my son of 45yrs on 15/03/21 with similar situation, my heart is broken I have a massive hole in my life ,we spoke everyday or text sent photos etc . I just don’t know how to carry on .! I feel very let down by our drug team and mental health . My husband and I found him the day after he died and will never forget that feeling , I cry everyday,I miss him so much .

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