In a lot of ways, our lives have gone back to some sort of normal. Not that they will ever ever be normal again, and not that we’re better after losing Alexander this summer. We’re just learning how to carry the grief with the help of friends and family.

There are days when I don’t cry. In fact, there are days lately where I laugh. Hard.

There are days where Scott does projects around the house, and where we gather with friends, and where our schedule seems to have a rhythm again.

We’re back in worship on a weekly basis. We’re back to teaching our high school Sunday School class. I’m back to retreat planning and program-leading and attending sporting events and all the other things involved in youth ministry.

And there are even strings of days where life starts to feel “normal.”

And then, it all catches up again.

Wait.

We shouldn’t be doing this. We shouldn’t be laughing this much. We shouldn’t be out this late. We shouldn’t be running all over town with friends. We shouldn’t be waking up 20 minutes before a meeting and still making it on time.

And then guilt sets in. Grief returns.

It comes in waves, this grief. Sometimes they’re crashing over our heads and we’re just trying to stay afloat, and sometimes those waves are gentle and farther between. Moving in and out like the tide.

There are moments and days when I even feel genuinely happy.

And there are moments and days when I still feel intense sadness.

This is grief.

The truth is this:

On the days when I laugh, I miss Alexander. I wish he was here to hear our laughter.

On the evenings when friends come over and I can hear Scott coaching our friends’ kids in Star Wars video games, I miss Alexander. I wish he was here to be coached by his dad and to learn all about epic nerd culture.

On the days when I’m running around town doing errands with a friend, I miss Alexander. I wish he was in the back seat running around town with us.

On the days when I break out my trumpet for the first time in years, I miss Alexander. I wish he was here to hear the music and to learn to make his own.

On the days when I spend a half hour at the post office mailing out packages of Alexander wristbands, I miss Alexander. I wish I was spending a half hour introducing him, alive, to our friends, or taking his picture and posting it all over social media.

On the days when life feels like it’s settling into a new normal, I miss Alexander. Because more than anything I wish he was the center of our normal.

I just miss him. Good days. Bad days. Hard days. Joyful days.

I miss him.

I miss him.

I miss him.

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