October used to mean feeling Fall in the air and spying Halloween merchandise on every aisle at the supermarket and being greeted by big shinny round pumpkins with glowing smiles on my neighbors front porches.
October meant the nights were getting longer and the air a little cooler. Not quite flannel jammies time, but close.
Conversations about how to spend Thanksgiving begin and Christmas shopping lists are started in October.
Now October has a new meaning.
In particular October 15, but the days leading up to it and the days preceding are tough too.
October 15 used to have no significance to me at all, just another day on the calendar.
Now it marks the anniversary of my parents’ death.
Today they have been gone for four years. 1460 days. It’s hard to believe it has been that long.
I dread the anniversary the most; more than their birthdays, more than Christmas, more than Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or their anniversary. The day I was notified my parents had died was the worst day and every October 15, I relive it. And every year I think it’s going to be a little easier, and it’s not.
I’ll never forgot sitting in my friend Suzy’s kitchen two weeks after the memorial service and watching her eyes fill with tears as she talked about her own father’s passing as if it happened the day before. He had died 30 years earlier.
In some ways this was strangely comforting to me; knowing I wasn’t alone in my grieve for a lost loved one and in other ways it made me even sadder than I already was. I realized this wasn’t something I was going to “get over”, I realized that death is as permanent as grieve and I would have to learn to live with this emptiness, the loss and the hole that was now forever in my heart.
I would have to live with the sadness each and every October and all the days in between.
One good thing occurred on October 15, 2008 on the one year anniversary, I told my sister I was six weeks pregnant with Lucas.