An old friend of ours called me this week. He calls on occasion to check in on the kids and me. Every time he calls, he asks how the house is and if I need help with anything. I have yet to accept his help or call him when something breaks. But it is nice to know that I have him as an ally in my corner.
This friend was in a severe ATV accident over 5 years ago. His injuries have left a lasting impact on his brain. Many times, in our conversations he finds himself looking for the right words because they don’t form when he wants them to.
When he called me this week he said, “I miss Tony out loud.”
He said it perfectly, even though I know that’s not exactly what he meant to say.
I miss him out loud too. I wonder at times if my missing him radiates off my being. Do my eyes shine differently after losing him? Can you see the sadness behind my smile? Is the pain heard under the laughter? Are these the ways I miss him out loud? Or is it a quiet loudness buzzing inside my head?
I miss him out loud when I get to talk about him. When I meet someone new, and they ask to see a picture of him or hear a good story. I am privileged to write this blog where I get to share him and my grief with others. Even when I whisper goodnight to the empty side of our bed.
Time will not stop me from missing him. Even as I work to heal the pieces of me. I will never be fixed. Two and a half years ago, a part of my soul left with him. Over this time, I have come to understand that the sense of missing him won’t disappear. Although the raw edges have dulled.
I look at our boys growing into men, who already look so much like their father. When our children go to each other for advice as they grow, instead of him. When our baby says “Goodnight Mom, I love you, see you in the morning” just like he did that last night we tucked them in together.
I will miss him out loud again, and again, forever, and ever.