We talk about you every day. Your brothers and sisters enlighten me as to all the things you taught them, things I wasn’t aware of, things that make me smile and say, “Yeah, that sounds like Matt.” You are in a thousand memories, and I am so grateful. Just this morning as your brother was making a glass of chocolate milk, your sister laughingly said, “Remember when we believed that brown cows gave chocolate milk and white cows gave white milk?” Yeah, that was from you, Matt. You could convince your siblings of almost anything! (And the milk thing? We’re pretty sure that came from *Gale. She convinced you of a lot, too. Best of all? Her love for you. Remember the “Guess What?” game, Matt?)
It’s hard, I know, for some people to believe that we talk about you every single day. For some slightly shake their heads, thinking that we are somehow “stuck” in grief, that this daily talk of you implies we are not doing well. Oh, how I wish they understood that it is quite the contrary.
Speaking of our loss is exactly what fosters healing. Our loved ones may die, and we bury their bodies in the ground, but love does not die. Love is what remains. Should we bury our love? Should we not speak of that which we love, of those whom we love? No, we should not make our loss or our loved one the center focus of our life, but healing does not happen by doing what many generations ago did: buried their grief, never speaking of their pain or of their loved one again. That wasn’t healing; that was denial. They did not find healing by repressing their grief.
Matt, you are missed so very much. It doesn’t mean we are “stuck.” It doesn’t mean we cry every day. It doesn’t mean we don’t laugh. It means we live life here without you, yet remember daily the hole in our hearts. Your amputated presence throbs more some days than others, but we rub the memories of you on like salve. With joy, we remember you because that is what love does: love lives on. I love you, son.
*Gale is my God-loving, dear sister-in-Christ, best friend, and farmer woman whom I have known for 25 years. When Matt was little, he always fell for her “Guess What?” game where she asked him, “Matthew, guess what?” Inevitably, he’d always respond with “What?” to which she would reply, “I love you!” Even on his 16th birthday, she messaged him “Guess what?” To which he replied, “Yeah, Yeah. I know.” Melts my heart. She is also, sadly, a member of “The Club No One Wants to be a Part of.”