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Year Two

I’ve heard from other parents that year two is worse than year one.

A few weeks into year two without Johnathan and I just don’t have the words…. (Y’all know I’ll try anyway)

I spent the last year really leaning into my grief and trying to find healthy coping skills to “do it right” so that year two may not be the doom everyone was talking about…

But yeah… year two has its own unique challenges that I don’t think I could have circumvented anyways.

It’s a deeper sadness. It’s realizing I don’t have pictures from a year ago anymore. It’s changing my answer when people ask me about him. It’s no longer “end of last year”. It’s more now. It happened in 2020. Yet here we are sitting in 2022.

Nothing has changed, yet everything has changed.

We bought our first home and moved to Kernersville, NC. I started a new job at an urgent care getting burnt out on Rona Regulations like everyone in healthcare. We got another dog, Liberty, and she’s become part of the family.

But we don’t have Johnathan. Nothing is how it is supposed to be.

A few weeks before Johnathan died, AJ and I looked at each other during one of those husband/wife moments and we knew we had made it. We agreed to start looking for a house, we knew where we wanted to live, we researched school districts, we agreed on a second dog once we were out of our apartment, AJ had a job lined up with the county EMS, and we were just deciding how daycare/school would work with two working parents. We had our two sons, plenty for us, and that was it. We had hit “The Next Stage”.

Then in one last heartbeat, it was all messed up.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing will ever feel complete ever again because we’re missing a vital part of “us”.

We keep moving forward…the world keeps moving forward…homes bought, jobs worked, pups rescued… yet we’re a Nugget shy of ever feeling complete.

I feel like it’s getting harder to stay positive day to day because as the shock wears off, there’s nothing but darkness to take it’s place.

I’ve been a bit isolated over the past few weeks from all my coping therapies. My GriefShare group is in between sessions. They scheduled a get together last week, but then I got The Omicron. This also kept me out of work (a great distraction from my sadness) and then a snowstorm hit NC early this week and in person church was cancelled. We’re all stuck in the house with mild Omicron symptoms. And I’ve lost my connection to my in-person support system.

I keep hoping this “Year Two” will be a little less dark once I’m out of isolation and get back to some of my day to day activities over the next few days to weeks.

I guess that’s why I’m back here, writing. This is my therapy. When I don’t have a way to let it out in real life, it gets bottled up pretty quickly.

Year One is filled with all the firsts. People around you know it’s the first birthday, the first Christmas, the first anniversary of every bad, horrible, and good time you can remember. You get texts, calls, gifts. You feel surrounded by support.

I know I have a huge community of support, so I’m not too scared of losing that. I KNOW I have people to turn to.

I’m more nervous about not having anything new to be sad about.

I’m hoping that makes sense and doesn’t sound twisted and selfish. It just feels like I don’t have the same weight behind every painful moment.

“What’s got you sad today?”
“Oh, just missing Johnathan.”
”Oh, Ok”


I mean, what else it there to bring up? His death will always be an underlying source of my sadness. What’s worse is when there’s more things to be sad about to stack on top of that.

My son is gone. There’s moments it still doesn’t feel real. Year Two is darker. I feel silly when the world keeps moving and I still just miss Johnathan.

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