a new tradition?

Posted by in letters to the boys

This morning ian, shiya and I went to the Center for Grief, Loss and Transition in St. Paul, MN.  They had an open house from 10am-noon.  The Center is in an old house and feels more like a home than anything else.  There are plants, art, a kitchen, couches, music and books…

ian had mentioned it to me yesterday and it wasn’t until I woke up this morning that I decided that I might want to go.  and it’s not even so much that I wanted to go there, but that I wanted to acknowledge how much I miss and love Ayrie, and I wanted to do something that made it feel different than the 35 thanksgivings that have come before.

i told shiya that I was going somewhere that was for people who were sad because someone they loved had died.

He asked, “Like Ayrie?”

“Yes, sweetie.” I told him.  Emily offered to keep him home with her while Ian and I went but Shiya really wanted to go with us.

There were only a few people at the open house… five besides us… but it was wonderful.  The people were open and warm… not bitter or angry as I had feared.  There was one other couple there who had lost a daughter and they were further along in their journey, but on a similar path with their readings and discoveries.  The facilitator/counselor was so attentive to shiya.  She read all of the book Tear Soup.  We had cookies and tea and just talked.  Not about anything in particular or with any visible structure… but just talked.  When Shiya got restless their pulled out crayons and paper.  It felt right to be there.

When we got home Emily asked Shiya where he had just gone and he told her happily, “Somewhere to miss Ayrie.”

Later when Shiya and I were laying down together (nap didn’t happen today) I told him about Thanksgiving being a day to reflect on what we are grateful for.  I asked if he wanted to say thank you for anything and he said “Yes, for Ayrie.”  It was completely unprompted and caught be by surprise.  And I feel the same.  There are a thousand or more things I am grateful for.  The hugs, the cards, the meals, the groceries, the donations, the listening ears, the flowers, the facebook support, the writing people have shared…. but for more than any of that I am grateful that Ayrie chose me to be his mother and thankful for the 4 years I had with him.

I am not celebrating Thanksgiving this year.  As I sit here and type this Emily, Ian, and Shiya are upstairs with Ian’s family and I can hear their foot steps and chatter.  I am going to read, write, and maybe go to a movie.  But I wish all of you a happy and healthy thanksgiving.

with love,