I am going way off topic but that is my prerogative. As a warning, if you are of a sensitive nature read no further, this doesn’t end well.
10,004 days (or 1,429 weeks or 329 months or 27 yrs and 5 months), is the number of days between the date on Nick’s birth certificate and the date on his death certificate. Today starts the 5th anniversary of the absolute worse experience in our lives. But first let’s look at who Nick was.
And I’d give up forever to touch you
Nick was exceptional by most accounts. I know all parents say these things but we didn’t cultivate his exceptionalism – he did. When Nick was still in a car seat (maybe 4 or 5) he would read the big green overhead highway signs as we drove down the road. When he was in the 4th grade (10) he was a participant in a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University. They told us he had a reading comprehension level of a college student. Nick by age 11, had become a big Michael Crichton fan and would burn through a book over a weekend. He was too smart for school, at a parent/teacher meeting, we were asked what we thought Nick’s “problem” was. I told the principal “he learned to read” and you guys can’t teach. Needless to say, I was persona non-grata at the school
‘Cause I know that you feel me somehow.
When Nick graduated high school, he joined the Marine Corps, specializing in airfield operations – they trained him to be a firefighter. He was deployed to the Al Asad airbase in Iraq where he received a commendation for what he called “smart thinking.” And I added, “yeah while being shot at.”
You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be
After his discharge from the Marine Corps, Nick went to college but it wasn’t his thing, saying it was “dumb” and failed to teach students any useful skills. Nick was good with computers and built his own. He landed an IT job with a medical firm where he found his groove. He had a girlfriend, bought a new car, and was searching for a house or apartment. His employer had plans for Nick until that one night.
And all I can taste is this moment
We’ve been to counselors, and support groups: some helped, most did not. Society is “uncomfortable with the topic…people will either try to avoid discussing it or offer comfort by talking about their “own experience,” which is not a helpful response. Birthdays, holidays, and the anniversary of the loss are particularly painful. We stopped celebrating birthdays, blew off Christmas completely one year, and have played it down ever since. If you are uncomfortable talking to people about their loss, I recommend reading the following article What to Say to Someone Who Lost Loved One. It contains by far the best advice I’ve come across.
And all I can breathe is your life
If I haven’t lost you, tonight hug everyone you love because you never know. Live as if tomorrow may never come; live every moment of your life surrounded by those you love. As Paul McCartney once sang “All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise.” Don’t meet that moment with regret.
When sooner or later it’s over