Noah died a week before Passover in 2013 and I thought that by now, the holiday was no longer so weighted by our loss. Especially when it came a full month after the anniversary in this year's lunar Jewish calendar; I thought I was emerging from the depths. Then why couldn’t I stop crying at public events the week before our family’s Seder? When I finally realized it was a week before Passover, I could calm myself. I went outside, closed my eyes, and tilted my face to the sun, listening to the swish of palm trees not far from where Noah first learned to surf.
I thought a bereaved mother should think about her lost child more often than I do. That when people say, “I think about him every day,” even after the first few years of suicide loss, they must be exaggerating. What does it mean to always have a dead loved one in your heart? No matter what you’re thinking or doing, grief is a stowaway in your veins. The pain of losing that person is lodged in your steps, your gut, your breath.
Maybe it’s time to release the “should’s” and play it by ear, listening to the body’s cues.