Wednesday September 30, 2015

It is strange to want to remember and forget at the same time. I don't want Shannon to fade away, but I also sometimes resent that it is forever present. That may be a bad thing to say, but it's the truth.

I suppose there will always be a small piece of me that wishes this wasn't my life. To always have this thing that makes me "different", this anchor that can pull me down at unexpected moments. I always live with that. It won't go away and I don't want it to... but maybe sometimes I do...

This week has had good Shannon moments: I showed up to teach tennis on Monday, and a kid I've never seen before was wearing a Shannon bracelet. I didn't ask if he knew the story... he's there, living his life, playing a little tennis, but I wonder how much he knows. I had a call from an acquaintance who wants to make a donation to the SOF. I've been invited to a Rochester authors event in November. These are the good things in the after.

But there are those gut wrenching moments, too. Erin had to do an exercise at school this week where a foreign language teacher asked her to stand up and introduce her siblings. "I have no brothers. I have no sisters. I am an only child." What the hell else was Erin suppose to do? She doesn't go around announcing that her sister died. She meets new people all the time that don't know her story. Dan and I tend to project and want her to tell people, but she's got to navigate it in her own way. While Dan and I are pretty quick to share our story, Erin plays it closer to the vest. She just wants to be her own person.

The grief journey is unrelenting sometimes. When I was in Atlanta, I met a mother who lost her son 10 years ago. She was still brought to tears remembering him. That in itself was a reality check. I'm not even 4 years in to this lifetime of the after... it's a long road, and some days I'm more graceful than others.

But, we are not alone. People suffer losses in this life. Saturday we will walk and talk with others who have lost loved ones to brain tumors. Lots of different journeys, lots of desire to remember and honor and help fund research in their memory.

If you are so inclined, you can register the day of the event.

Brains Together For a Cure Annual Walk