Dear Greg,

It’s two years today since we lost you. Can you believe it? It’s hard to imagine that life has gone on for that long without you.

I went to see you today. I was feeling strange because I wasn’t feeling this large grief like I did last year on this day. Until I got in my car to go home and I started crying, and I sobbed the whole way. It’s like I’m moving on and coming to terms with you being gone, but there are these large pockets of grief that sneak up on me, and the next thing I know, I’m crying my eyes out on the 101. Like I said. Strange.

The first Year Without You seems easier, as everyone EXPECTS it to be hard. They expect the first birthday, the first vacation, the first Christmas to be so, so difficult. And it was. BELIEVE me. But the second year seems even more difficult, but in a different way. I guess I imagined this second year would be easier, and…it’s not, because it means that a significant amount of time has passed and you’re still gone, and you’ll never be here again. I can’t tell you how much that pains me.

Your brother and sister had a marble stone carved and placed it on the shore of Lake Powell. Your Aunt Nancy took you to England. Your parents took you to Paris. Did you see all that? Do you know how much you’re still missed? Do you know how much we all still grieve for you, even as we know you’re okay up there? Do you see that now during holidays and other family events there’s always that moment that nobody speaks of…the one where we all realize you’re not there. Do you see that we still look for you in the room, even now? 22 years of habits cannot be changed in a measly two years’ time.

I keep imagining you, your Grandma Dorothy and your Grandpa Jim up in Heaven. I picture you and your Grandpa Jim building things, and he’s teaching you how to build it bigger and sturdier. And you’re teaching him how to make it go faster, with your Grandma Dorothy either trying to keep you two from getting yourselves kicked out of Heaven for being too rowdy, or strapping on a helmet to join you. And as comforting as that thought is, I realized something a few weeks ago…

Your brother is now 22. At some point this year he’ll become older than you ever were, and I realize how much of our lives you won’t be there for. And how much of your life will never be. And I wish you were here.

Today is the beginning of the third year without you.

I still love you. I still miss you, Gregger, all the time. We’re all getting better, but it is taking time. A lot of it. But we’ll always love you, no matter how long you’ve been gone. And I think we’ll always look for you in the room. Every now and again, I hope you’ll be there.

Love, Cousin Lynda
A Still Grieving, but Slowly Healing Guppy

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