The impact of your memories is never truly understood until you are grieving. Grieving brings a whole new dimension to your every day memories. Those memories can trigger your loss and send you spiraling down into tears, and sobbing. When it happens in a public place it can be disturbing to those around you, but it is also, disturbing to yourself. As you are tearing up, and turning your head to hide them from the people around you, the judgment of your tears shows on the faces around you.
This experience is common, and happened on July 4th this year. In our area there is a small town called Belle Fourche. Belle Fourche is cowboy country. Farmers, cowboys, city folk, and the tourists mingle to celebrate the rodeo life style. A major event for this celebration is the local parade. Without fail any graduating class which has a class reunion that year has a float in the parade. The flatbed is decorated with purple and white crepe paper with the year scrawled across. The flatbeds are filled with the alumni of that particular year. The class of 1959 rolls by. The class of 1974 is next in line. Then, the class of 1984 rolls by. Finally the class of 2004 was there. The participants are standing waving at the crowd. A blonde man has a water gun pointing at the crowd. He is spraying water everywhere. The crowd whoops and hollers in the 90 degree heat.
A flash of grief slams into your stomach seemly out of nowhere. 2004 the year our son graduated from high school. The tears begin to roll. The realization he did not even live ten years after high school. He will never know a class reunion. The realization he has been dead for three years makes it worse. There is so much of life he has missed. In the midst of a laughing crowd enjoying the day you feel so alone. For even the simplest of days is a reminder of what you have lost.
As the people around you notice the tears, you suck it up. It takes shaking your back like a dog shakes his coat to stuff the tears down inside. Once you are alone the tears, the sadness, of that moment will be allowed out into open. But, not on this day as the parade continues to roll by.