Standing in the Gap


The world moves pretty quickly when you are standing still. I feel like I spend a lot of time lately just standing (or sitting) waiting for my brain to work. For my motivation to come back. For something to shift and make all the pieces fit back together again.

That’s not going to happen, though. Mostly because one of the big pieces of my life is missing. So what’s going to fill that gap? It could be anger. Or fear. Or sadness. Those are the things that want to jump into that space. But you have to be careful with those “fillers” or they will spread like the nasty cancer that caused all these issues in the first place.

So what do you fill the gap with? Hope? Love? Dare I say it… Joy? I think those are the best things, though they may not come naturally at first.

There was this thing David would always say. Whenever anyone would apologize to him for something beyond their control, he would say, “Why are you apologizing? You didn’t do anything.”

I think he would want all of us to be filled with joy. We are sad because he is gone, we’re “sorry”. But we didn’t cause it. It’s not our fault. So we should try to be like him and just love people an be happy.

I know a lot of times when people die, you tend to remember just the good stuff. David wasn’t perfect, but he was so damn sweet you couldn’t stay mad at him. I had a cousin, Treavor, that was kind of the same way. He died 11 years ago this week, and I know his mom remembers the good and the bad. If that’s the highest level of perfection any of us achieve, I think we’ll be ok.

College Season


Back in June, I barely heard from anyone about high school graduations. Everyone was so conscious of the fact that David had just died, and they didn’t want to burden me. I never looked at it that way, and it didn’t make me sad to see their beautiful pictures and cheer them on as they left high school.

But summer is over, and they are all heading off to college. And now, the grief is more real. I didn’t buy any stuff for a dorm room this summer. As I read my friends’ posts of goodbyes to their kids, I hope they can remember that this kind of a goodbye is a gift. It means you’ve done your job pretty well and you have a young person who is ready to go out and face the world.

There was so much that David wanted to do. I will never be able to fill the hole he left in this world, but I guess my way of dealing with his absence is to try. To support his friends in the way I would have supported him. To help young people achieve their dreams. To find a cure for brain cancer so that other young lives aren’t cut short.

People ask me all the time how I cope. Well, I get sad a lot, but then I start thinking about all the things David would want me to do, and I realize I don’t have time to be sad for long. There’s too much work to do!