10 Things That (Still) Make Me Sad

I was going to begin this post with an explanation about why I’m still sad but after thinking on it for a few days, I realized this post needs no introduction at all.  What I think is sad is that I, and grievers in general, feel an explanation is needed after a certain period of time.  My son is dead, no explanation needed.

1. Seeing mom’s and sons together.

It gets me every time and I find myself feeling very sad and envious.  I’m a boy mom, without my boy.

2. The boy’s and men’s clothing section.

I always avert my eyes when I stumble on the men’s and boys clothing sections.  My heart drops and my eyes well up with tears just at the sight of them.  Sure, I can shop for clothes and donate them to a 17 year old boy, which I have done multiple times, but the hurt can’t be explained that I can’t shop for my son anymore.

3. How many kids do you have?

This is the worst question EVER for a bereaved parent! It’s the worst because it doesn’t end when I say “3.” It’s followed up with “How old are they?” How I answer this question depends on how I’m feeling at the time.  A better way to ask that question would be, “Tell me about your family.”

4. Rap music.

When I hear any type of rap music, it takes me back to him and my mind floods with memories.  While I was not a fan of Caleb’s favorite music genre, I do miss hearing the beat in my house and I miss watching him “dance” and “sing” to it.

5. The teen room at church.

I try to avoid this room as much as possible, but sometimes there are special events in there that I cannot avoid.  Church in general is still very hard, but the teen room makes me especially sad.

6. Skittles.

I can’t see a package of Skittles and not think about Caleb.  They were his favorite candy and the inspiration for his nickname, “MC Skittles.”

7. Marvel, Star Wars & Harry Potter.

If you knew Caleb, you know he was a big fan of all of these.  Whenever a new Marvel or Star Wars movie has come out since he died, it makes me so sad that he isn’t here to watch it with his dad.  Going to see it on opening weekend was their thing and I’m so sad that it can’t be anymore.

8. “Rocky Top.”

“Rocky Top, you’ll always be Home Sweet Home to me.  Good old Rocky Top, Rocky Top, Tennessee.  Rocky Top, Tennessee.”  Caleb loved this song and sang it loud and proud! When I hear it and he’s not around, my heart can’t handle it.  I also can’t listen to Matt Stillwell’s “I’m a Vol for Life Y’all,” because, man, Caleb could belt that song out with a huge smile on his face! We actually played it at his funeral because he loved it so much.

9. Not seeing Caleb with his friends.

My son’s friends are the best and they have brought us a lot of comfort and joy, for which we are so thankful, but not seeing Caleb in the mix when they’re all together is still so hard for me.  I long to see his curly hair standing above the rest, I want so badly to see him interacting and sharing life with them.  They were all supposed to be adults together…

10. Dinnertime.

This has been an incredibly difficult responsibility for me to maneuver through since my family size went from 5 to 4.  As I cooked Caleb would come into the kitchen, wrap his arm around me and say, “What’cha cookin’ mama?” He would offer kind sentiments like “Yummy” or “Smells good,” and so on.  Knowing that I’m only cooking for 4 people is hard, and sitting at the dinner table without him is really hard.  Dinnertime was my favorite time of the day with my family, and it has been difficult to get back to.  I have made a lot of progress in 31 months, but it still makes me sad every.single.day.

A fellow bereaved mother, friend and Podcaster I know recently read two of her blog posts from 2011 on her Podcast https://whilewerewaiting.org/podcast/ .  One titled “Ten Things That (Still) Make Me Sad” and the other, “Ten Things That (Still) Make Me Smile.” She wrote them about 3 years after her daughter Hannah’s passing.  I related to so much of what she shared that I asked her if I could use her titles her, and she said “Oh, Absolutely!”  That dear friend is ,Jill Sullivan, one of the founders of the While We’re Waiting Ministry.  If you’re a bereaved parent or know someone who is, I strongly encourage you to visit their website: https://whilewerewaiting.org/ they have been an incredible blessing in my grief journey.