Is this Real?

It is completely weird to say my son’s headstone is awesome, beautiful or worst of all, perfect. But it is all of those things.

To this day, I rarely use past tense words. Was, had, use to. They don’t just slide off the tongue. I actually have to think about it.

When does it change? Will it be a decision I make, or will it just happen one day and I won’t even notice?

It’s going on 8 months and it’s still not real.

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I go out to his grave at least twice a week, most weeks more than that. I change his flowers. I add things, I take things away. I am careful to leave the things his friends put on there. But I wonder when will they stop visiting him. Life goes on. At what point will I remove the things they have placed there?

For me (most days) Ben is not dead. He is just not here right now. On the days that I realize he won’t be walking through the door, I am inconsolable. I just want to be alone those days. Those days are getting further apart. Will they stop altogether one day? I hope not. Then it will be real. I never want it to be real.

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A visit from Ben

 

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A couple of nights ago my nieces, Faith, Kasey and I were talking about Ben. We had been out to the cemetery because the girls wanted to see the lights at night. When we came through the door I pointed to a picture that Samantha and I had taken with Ben at my cousins wedding. He was an usher so he had to wear a suit. But he also had to wear a blue bow tie!! I was not a fan of that picture (or the suit). I thought he was too handsome to be wearing a bow tie.

Anyway, I was telling the girls how Ben always makes the picture crooked as I’m straightening it for hundredth time. I reach over and straighten another one that was crooked as well. As soon as I sit down Kasey says “Ben, tilt any picture in the room.” I didn’t really think anything about it.

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An hour or so later, the girls are sitting on the sofa watching YouTube videos and I’m in my chair watching the news. All of a sudden my daughter Samantha’s dog, Miley, jumps up and starts growling and barking! The hair on her back is standing up (Miley doesn’t live here, she is just visiting). She is barking at one of the pictures on the wall. A picture of Samantha and Ben.

I tell the girls she is barking at Ben. It’s the only thing that makes sense because the other 3 dogs weren’t making a sound. They didn’t even react. They always react! When one dog barks they all bark! EVERYTIME!

About 10 minutes after Miley settles down, Faith says, “Aunt Sherry the picture is crooked again!” Then, “So is that picture! And that picture!” Every picture in the room was crooked!! He always lets me know he is still here.

Thanks son.