I was only surfing the internet when grief came and sat down beside me last weekend.
An innocent Google search brought me to the Wikipedia page of an actor that goes by the name, Ben.
Bennett. His name is Bennett.
Alone in my living room, the walls started closing in. Why does seeing my son’s name rip my heart out every time? I looked at the date and hoped this was a sign that my son was with me as I prepared for a hard week of remembering.
Today, my Bennett would be five. I haven’t baked a cake or wrapped any presents. My boy isn’t going to close his eyes and make a wish. He is never going to ride a bicycle, fall in love, or taste a piece of birthday cake. No matter how many wishes are made, he will never get to be a little boy.
When the calendar switched from January to February, I started to prepare myself for the impending storm of emotions, the notice about upcoming Kindergarten registration came home, in three different backpacks, on three different days. As I opened my daughter’s folder, to find the first note, I felt the air catch in my throat. For a few seconds, I could barely breathe. Just like the baby registry notices that arrived in my mailbox after Bennett died, the letter about Kindergarten ripped open those old wounds yet again.
Today, I found myself in Target looking for Valentine’s Day gifts. Five years ago, hours after giving birth to my silent boy, I had my husband bring me to Target to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for the children waiting for me at home. All of the emotions from five years ago came flooding back as I walked through those familiar doors. For the first time, my cart was empty as left the mall this afternoon.
All it took was recognition. A simple note from a friend acknowledging my son gave me the strength to take on the day. In many ways, February 13, 2010 was the worst day of my life, but there were glimpses of hope and more love than you could ever imagine.
The kindergarten notice is in the trash and Valentine’s gifts have been bought. Facing my demons, I walked back into Target and left with a few bags of candy. Slowly, all that seemed foreign to me has become normal.
Don’t be afraid to say his name. I need to hear his name.
Love never dies.