I had thought at some point, I’d “get used to” having a smaller family. Like after my son’s death by suicide, it was a matter of adapting to just the three of us. Not that I thought I’d forget or get over it.
While I’ve accepted that my youngest son is gone, it still feels like I’m cheating on him when we get together without him. There is a sense of strange sense of guilt for taking a family photo without Charles. Like they aren’t real. As if my family is an unfinished puzzle and we just need to locate the missing piece to glue it back together and make it whole again.
I’m grateful for my family and what I do have. What has been the hardest to become accustomed to is the conflicting emotions that I feel at the same time. On the one hand, there is the elation and joy of being together which often magnifies the sadness of our loss.
How can I want to laugh and cry at the same time? I guess that’s where the word bittersweet came from.